I’m following up on the urgent action we sent you a couple months ago for labor rights activist Andy Hall (below). I’m glad to be able to share an initial victory in this case: Today one of the four charges that Andy Hall faces was dismissed in court due to an unlawful interrogation process! Court proceedings on the next case start tomorrow, on Andy’s birthday. Instead of celebrating, he will be in a Thai court fighting the civil defamation case.
Today, Andy thanked the more than 500,000 people who have spoken out on his behalf, and said, “Thailand’s law enforcement officials should be held responsible for their unlawful conduct. Thailand’s justice system is to be commended!”
All the charges were brought by a Thai pineapple export company called Natural Fruit. Despite this setback, the company is continuing forward with its other cases against Andy. Please help us to build the momentum in the campaign for justice for Andy at this critical moment. Tell Natural Fruit these charges must be dropped today!
From: Abby McGill, International Labor Rights Forum
Sent: Friday, August 29, 2014
Subject: Our friend faces trial on Tuesday. Please help!
|Demand justice for Andy today!
Tell Natural Fruit to drop the charges!Andy Hall with our brothers and sisters at the Migrant Workers Rights Forum.
Andy Hall is preparing for a trial that could cost him $10 million and 7 years of his life. All because he spoke out about abusive working conditions at a factory in Thailand owned by Natural Fruit, a company that ships processed pineapple products around the world.
Don’t let Natural Fruit hide its misconduct with intimidation and harassment! Send a message demanding it drop these ridiculous charges and fix what’s wrong in its factories today!
It’s clear that these charges are in retaliation for Andy’s research of a Natural Fruit pineapple canning factory published in a report written with the Finnish NGO Finnwatch, Cheap Has a High Price. Labor rights abuses alleged in the report include:
• high labor recruitment costs deducted from workers’ salaries;
• child labor;
• payment below the legal minimum wage;
• forced overtime;
• confiscation of migrant workers’ passports and work permits;
• and violence.
Rather than address the problems, Natural Fruit launched a series of specious lawsuits against Andy using Thailand’s antiquated criminal defamation laws. These harassment suits are meant to intimidate activists into submission and deny migrant workers their voice.
But we won’t stand for it. We’re working with more than 100 human rights organizations and labor unions that have sent letters and calls for Natural Fruit to drop the charges. We are also pushing the Thai Pineapple Industry Association (TPIA), an industry group that Natural Fruit is active in, to intervene. So far, it has stood by this unscrupulous employer, and even made additional threats against Andy!
That’s why we need your help now! Andy’s trial starts Tuesday. Please show you stand with labor rights defenders: send a message to Natural Fruit and TPIA, then bring in your friends to turn that message into a movement.
International Labor Rights Forum