Monthly Newsletter. August 2021. Labor Issues

Monthly Newsletter. August 2021. Labor Issues

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Pre-pandemic, the routine denial of fair and consistent wages contributed to worker stress, distress, and potential for injuries and sickness has only escalated amidst COVID.

Frito-Lay worker strike - Factory workers reveal that they’ve worked 12 hours a day up to 5 months straight without a day off or weekends. After three weeks of bargaining, the union voted to end the strike on July 23. Formally the employees will get a 4% pay increase over the next two years and get at least one guaranteed day off each week. But experts highlight that Frito-Lay can still basically demand unlimited overtime of its workers with a few cursory restrictions tacked on.

Agriculture has a long history of exploitative labor conditions, including the routine denial of fair and consistent wages that contributes to worker stress, distress, and potential for injuries and sickness. This lack of concern for the human supply chain is not new; it dates back decades and is even codified in our laws where agriculture workers are exempt from many labor rights.

Living with Climate Change in Farmworker Communities In California’s southern San Joaquin Valley, the most productive agricultural region of the world, people from the small Mexican municipality San Pablo Tijaltepec have created a new home and have worked as farmworkers in the surrounding fields. Today workers face the environmental danger of the summer’s heat, which can rise to over 110 degrees in July and August.  Climate change has added new dimensions to the workplace safety conditions faced by agricultural workers already struggling with wage and hour protections.

Traffickers prey on the desperate, deceiving vulnerable people into jobs that are highly underpaid. Feeling they have no other option, victims are convinced that they must work for the trafficker.

Traveling Carnival Owner Arrested In Ogden For Alleged Labor Trafficking Oftentimes, like in this Utah case, traffickers will recruit people through legal visas, then trap them in a trafficking situation by taking away their passports. Because victims are unaware of their rights and uncertain of who to turn to for help, they end up living in poor conditions, receiving unlivable wages, working incredibly long hours, and much more. As a community, we need to learn the signs!

Both U.S. and immigrant children have been trafficked in agriculture fields, restaurants, begging rings, domestic work, and the beauty industry where they are unable to prioritize school work, their own health, and safety, or even the ability to leave.

A fake charity operating in Georgia for nearly four years was a front for a human trafficking ring. The group picked up children in vans and drove them to other areas, including Cherokee County where the group was indicted. The children would then sell candy to collect donations for the charity outside retail stores or by going door-to-door in residential neighborhoods. Once the children collected the money, the group kept it for its own financial gain instead of giving the children the advertised prizes.Learn More >>

Over the last two months, we conducted training focused on data and intel in Indiana, Montana, South Carolina, and North Carolina. We delivered the Advanced Human Trafficking Investigations Institutes to local, state, and federal agents and prosecutors, highlighting national best practice case studies and supporting active case building in dozens of jurisdictions. We are honored that these agencies sought to bring training to their regions through Collective Liberty.

Collective Liberty is working hard to deliver the most comprehensive, victim-centered training and support to law enforcement officials in the field. With our cadre of active and former law enforcement and prosecutors with proven human trafficking experience, we can empower agents and prosecutors with the information needed to target traffickers and hold them accountable.

Massage parlor that rents property from a building Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) owns, has suspected ties to prostitution and human trafficking Reports show that the spa, known as “Asian Sunnt Massage,” advertises on “various illicit websites that are known as avenues for illicit sex.” Kind’s financial disclosure forms from 2018 and 2019 show that he made between $15,001 and $50,000 in rent income from the building in La Crosse. Our CEO spoke to Fox News about the common indicators of trafficking in massage parlors, which are present in the case of Asian Sunny Massage.

NYPD cracks down on the Brooklyn prostitution market after Post exposé. We have conducted several trainings for NYPD officers in Brooklyn and it is encouraging to see that these officers are moving away from targeting sex workers and potential trafficking victims to buyers, particularly those buyers engaged in other problematic behaviors (like DUIs). Our several years relationship with various New York criminal justice agencies has supported the decrease in both arrests and prosecutions of victims across multiple burrows, with Brooklyn often leading the way.

Our CEO, Rochelle Keyhan, was asked by NBC News to share her expert insight on QAnon’s latest conspiracy theory about human trafficking. QAnon is falsely claiming that masks are leading to more child trafficking victims as children who are wearing masks can't be identified and rescued. What they are not understanding is that most trafficking victims are in plain sight and typically trafficked by people they know. “The narrative that children are kidnapped instead of lost and overlooked is appealing, because the reality is even scarier. Ultimately, because children can be more trusting and easily coerced, all children are susceptible to the manipulative tactics of traffickers,” Rochelle Keyhan said.