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March 24, 2005

Unocal Settles with Burma slave laborers

Settling a landmark lawsuit over international human rights and labor conditions, Unocal has agreed to compensate Burmese workers used as slave laborers on a Unocal pipeline in that country.

The plaintiffs used the once-obscure 1789 Alien Tort Claims Act, a statute that can allow foreign nationals to file suit in the United States.

The key importance of the agreement is that it means US companies are put on notice that they can't subcontract out human rights abuses to other countries to reap profits without responsibility for those crimes.

Posted by Nathan at March 24, 2005 08:43 AM