Nicaragua Minister Signs Code of Ethics for Women Workers
Nicaraguan Minister of Labor Wilfredo Navarro signed a 10-point Code of Ethics that will regulate conditions and labor relations for women maquila workers in the country’s free-trade zone. The women work for maquiladora companies, which help foreign coorperations set up production operations in developing countries so that they can take advanatage of the lower labor costs and weaker laws.
Coordinator of ‘Maria Elena Cuadra,’ a group for working and unemployed women, and union leader Sandra Ramos said, “[The code] is the result of five years of hard work - a long and difficult struggle, in which the maquila workers gave the best of what they had.”
The Code acknowledges the “historical demands” of women maquila workers, prohibits hiring child workers under age 14, and demands: equal pay, protection from abuse and from discrimination because of pregnancy, periodical medical examinations, training programs and social security benefits.
The free-trade zone was activated in Nicaragua in 1992, employing 1,300 workers. Figures for 1997 report 15,000 maquila workers.
Ramos, author of an essay titled “Free-Trade Zone: A Woman’s Face,” said that this is the first Code of Ethics signed in Central America. “I believe that we have had enough confrontation; our women need jobs and employment stability and they need responsible organization to ensure employment and their rights .... The most difficult task will be to ensure that the companies abide by it,” said Ramos.
4/15/2014 Virginia Bishops Advocate More Abortion Restrictions for Poor Women - Using the Medicaid expansion debate as a platform, the Virginia Catholic Conference issued a statement Friday calling for the repeal of a Virginia law that allows state funding of abortion care for Medicaid recipients in situations where the fetus exhibits a "gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity" or a "gross and totally incapacitating mental deficiency."
Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of the Diocese of Richmond and Bishop Paul Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington authored the statement which urges Virginia lawmakers to act to expand Medicaid to cover more of Virginia's poor. . . .
4/14/2014 Kathleen Sebelius Resigns as Secretary of Health & Human Services - President Barack Obama last week announced the resignation of Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius.
Noting that she will "go down in history" for "serving as the Secretary of Health and Human Services when the United States of America finally declared that quality, affordable health care is not a privilege, but it is a right for every single citizen of these United States of America," President Obama praised Secretary Sebelius for guiding the implementation of the landmark Affordable Care Act (ACA).
At least 7.5 million Americans have now signed up for health coverage through health insurance marketplaces created by the ACA. . . .