CH2M, in collaboration with five other leading engineering and construction companies, launched a new industry group to protect the rights and welfare of workers worldwide, “Building Responsibly.” Tawny Chritton, CH2M’s Director of Social Impact, was elected chair of the organization’s Steering Committee. CH2M places great importance on ensuring the health, safety, and welfare of workers involved in our projects, and we have worked closely with fair labor expert, Verité, to implement our own worker welfare policy and foster industry collaboration.
Nestor Molina has made a living looking for Honduran workers to pick fruit in Florida. Now, some of the workers he recruited, their lawyers, and the U.S. government are looking for him. Molina, 53, is among the middlemen hired by companies to help bring foreign workers to the United States for temporary jobs. The jobs span almost every industry, from agriculture to hospitality, and the numbers of foreign workers brought to the United States have swelled in the past two decades. In the fiscal year ending last August, the government issued more than 350,000 temporary work visas.
We ended 2015 with nine posts on the issue of modern slavery in the coffeelands—this eight-part series on our research into wretched labor conditions on a small number of Brazilian coffee estates and this reflection on how that work is inspired by our mission to serve the poorest and most vulnerable people. Those posts were rather narrow in focus—one country, one specific category of labor abuse. An article we contributed to the current issue of Roast Magazine titled “Farmworkers in Coffee: Improving Conditions for the Industry’s Most Vulnerable Players” is wider in scope—it surveys the broader context of farm labor in coffee that we are working to address through our research, writing and programming.