In re Guatemalan Workers’ Rights – Economic Rights – CCR Docket Fall 1992

CCR is investigating legal means by which claims can be brought against U.S. corporations operating in Guatemala in violation of Guatemalan labor law.

This case, which is in the developmental stage, represents an effort to hold U.S. corporations accountable for their acts affecting workers in other countries, similar to the Pico case.

Guatemala, which has a large indigenous population, is a target for economic exploitation by western corporations, particularly those from the U.S., which use an”free trade” agenda to gain tax breaks and disregard local labor laws in search of expanding markets . The government is notorious for its human rights violations, and allows a repressive environment to dampen labor organizing and proper enforcement of labor laws by foreign corporations.

Working with local Guatemalan labor groups and U.S. solidarity organizations, CCR is currently researching the following issues: labor law in both countries, international statutes regarding foreign corporations, and the possibility of enforcement in the U.S. courts.

Jose Luis Morin and Michael Ratner, with the Lowenstein Human Rights Clinic of Yale Law School