Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Worker rights and Islamic law

IWJ is partnering with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) on a trailblazing effort involving workers’ rights, Islamic investment law, transnational social justice organizing, and the morally unacceptable labor practices of a multi-billion-dollar real-estate company.

The Indianapolis-based HDG Mansur, which also has offices in London, Dubai and New York, is making international financial headlines by declaring itself Shari’ah-compliant. But the shabby treatment of the janitors who work in Mansur’s Indianapolis headquarters raises serious and troubling questions — for worker justice as well as the integrity of Shari’ah compliance.

IWJ sponsored a delegation to London November 6-8 to call attention to these ethical issues. The delegation included a Muslim scholar representing ISNA, an African-American janitor currently on strike from her job cleaning at Mansur’s Indianapolis headquarters, and a staff person from IWJ. They teamed up with members of the UK Transport and General Workers’ Union (TGWU-Unite) and British trade union and community leaders to raise awareness about Mansur’s business practices.

The widely-read London-based newspaper The Guardian ran an article about the issue in its November 13 edition. Alas, it's not on the newspaper's website, but a truncated version can be found on the Irish Times.

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