- js reader version
- view hidden posts
- tags and related articles
by Oread Daily
Monday, Feb. 17, 2003 at 9:03 AM
UNOCAL GETS A SECOND CHANCE
We can only guess why, but the Unocal Corp has been given another chance to oppose a lawsuit proceeding against the company alleging human rights abuses in Myanmar. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed in a two sentence decision to rehear the case. A three-judge panel ruled in September that claims by Myanmar villagers that Unocal aided soldiers who abused them should proceed to trial. The Myanmar military provided security at Unocal's Yadana natural gas pipeline and subjected local people to forced labor, rape, murder and torture, the lawsuit says. The case may determine whether U.S. companies can be held liable for human rights abuses abroad by parties acting on their behalf. ChevronTexaco Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp. have been sued over alleged human rights violations in Nigeria and Indonesia, respectively.
The plaintiffs in John Doe I et. al. v. Unocal Corp. et al. are Burmese villagers who lived near the pipeline. Some were forced to work on the project by Unocal's pipeline partner, the notoriously repressive Burmese military. The remainder suffered other egregious abuses during the military's provision of "security" for the project. For example, two of the plaintiffs were sexually assaulted, and one, an infant, died after being kicked into a cooking fire.
A federal court in Los Angeles found last summer that "Plaintiffs present[ed] evidence demonstrating that before joining the Project, Unocal knew that the [Burmese] military had a record of committing human rights abuses; that the Project hired the military to provide security for the Project, a military that forced villagers to work and entire villages to relocate for the benefit of the Project; that the military, while forcing villagers to work and relocate, committed numerous acts of violence; and that Unocal knew or should have known that the military did commit, was committing and would continue to commit these tortious acts." Attorney Terry Collingsworth of the International Labor Rights fund said then, "This ruling means that there's absolutely no debate that private companies can be held liable for overseas human-rights abuses. U.S. companies will have to take a careful look at their conduct abroad."
Now the appeals court, says "Not." Why?
Meanwhile, another action is proceeding in state court. In a September ruling California Superior Court Judge Victoria Chaney rejected an attempt by Unocal Corp. and two of its former officials, Roger Beach and John Imle, to dismiss claims that they facilitated and abetted human rights abuses on Unocal's Yadana Pipeline project in Burma. "There is no question that Unocal knowingly participated in a project with a military that committed widespread and brutal human rights violations for Unocal's benefit," said Richard Herz of EarthRights International, co-counsel for the plaintiffs said at the time of that decision. Unocal asked the state court to dismiss on a number of grounds, including that the U.S. Constitution prohibits these claims because they impede U.S. foreign policy. Judge Chaney rejected all of Unocal's arguments.
In fact, leading World Economic Forum (WEF) multinationals are fighting to avoid accountability for human rights violations. Unocal, Shell and ChevronTexaco, all WEF companies, are presently facing accusations in U.S. courts of complicity in human rights violations in cases brought by affected communities from India, Nigeria and Burma. The multinationals’ lobby groups have launched a behind-the-scenes effort in the U.S. Congress to ensure victims do not get their day in court. The multinationals are working to weaken the law through their lobby groups, the International Chamber of Commerce and National Foreign Trade Council. Presently, extreme cases of violations being brought under what is known as the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) face a long haul through the U.S. courts. Although such cases are not easy to bring, they are one of the few ways to hold companies accountable for their role in violating the rights of communities where they operate. The actions of the multinationals through their lobby aim to remove the right of non-U.S. citizens to seek redress for any torture, extrajudicial killing, forced labor, and genocide aided or committed by U.S. corporations. Matt Phillips, corporate campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: "The WEF theme this year is ‘building trust’. If multinationals are so trustworthy, why are they worried about accountability laws? Governments must resist corporate lobbying and introduce clear rights for communities to secure justice in the face of multinational wrongs."
Sources: EarthRights International, CorpWatch, Burma Project, Corporate Social Responsibility News
The Oread Daily provides daily (Monday-Friday) progressive, left, anti-racist, anarchist, commie, activist, environmental, Marxist, revolutionary, etc. news and information from around the US and around the world.
Web Site Address/URL: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OreadDaily/
Report this post as:
GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE
lausd whistle blower
Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images
UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light
Change Links April 2018
Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018
Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018!
Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018!
Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert!
Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A.
Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released
Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups
After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video
Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights
What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It
Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down
Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29
Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf
Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development
Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine
Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents
Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters
City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre
Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling
Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present
Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police
LA Times Homicide Report
More Local News...
Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats
What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress??
Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée
The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion
Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service
The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally!
The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder
Paraphysique de la dictature étatique
Book Review: "The New Bonapartists"
The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia
Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine
The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally!
“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize!
The World Dependent on Central Banks
Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine
March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update
Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel
ICE contract with license plate reader company
Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes
Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges
Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes
Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety
Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man
Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes
Paraphysique de l'autorité
More Breaking News...