In June 2005, WOLA, along with the AFL-CIO, International Labor Rights Fund, U.S. Labor Education in the Americas Project re-submitted petitions (originally filed in Dec 2004) in cooperation with unions and labor rights advocates from the Central American region. The petitions, which were filed under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), argue that Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras fail to meet the GSP program’s conditions on workers’ rights and that trade benefits for the countries must be reviewed, and withdrawn if necessary.
Normally, the GSP decision is made within about six weeks of the initial filing date. But, in this case six months had passed since the original petitions were filed.
In June 2005, the Bush administration refused to respond to these petitions to withdraw trade benefits from countries that violate core workers’ rights. In the face of inaction and missed deadlines from the administration, labor rights advocates were forced to file new petitions on each of the Central American countries.
To read a Congressional Memo on this topic click here