Financial Services, Insurance and Banking

Ernst & Young Pays $10 Million To Settle Lehman Brothers Audit Failure Lawsuit
Pratap Chatterjee
April 17th, 2015

Ernst & Young, one of the Big Four auditing firms, has agreed to pay a $10 million to New York state to settle a lawsuit for overlooking accounting gimmicks by Lehman Brothers, the defunct Wall Street bank. The scheme allowed Lehman to hide billions of dollars in bad deals.

Photo: AK Rockefeller. Used under Creative Commons license.

Retail & Mega-Stores

UNIQLO, Japanese Fast Fashion Label, Accused of Labor Violations
Mayu Chang
April 13th, 2015

Chinese factories in Dongguan and Guangzhou that supply UNIQLO - a “fast fashion” label owned by Fast Retailing Co. from Japan - have been accused of endangering their workers’ lives, according to a new report from Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM), a Hong-Kong based labor rights group.

Uniqlo Store. Photo: raptor_cZn. Used under Creative Commmons license.
Natural Resources

Barrick Gold Compensates Rape Victims in Papua New Guinea
Richard Smallteacher
April 3rd, 2015

Barrick Gold, the world’s largest gold mining company, has agreed to compensate 14 individuals for violent acts committed near the Porgera mine in Papua New Guinea. Eleven of the cases involved sexual violence such as rape. Some 120 others had previously accepted cash settlements of about $10,000.

Panning for gold at Porgera. Source: Human Rights Watch.
War & Disaster Profiteering

Asylum Seekers Protest Mitie Management of U.K. Detention Center
Pratap Chatterjee
March 13th, 2015

U.K. asylum seekers have gone on hunger strike to protest living conditions at Harmondsworth immigration detention centre, which is run by Mitie, a British outsourcing company. The protests come months after Mitie took over from the Geo Group whose contract was canceled after prison authorities found repeated problems.

Undercover footage from Harmondsworth. Footage: Corporate Watch.
Food and Agriculture

Florida Tomato Pickers Sign Up New Major Retail Chains For Higher Wages
Fatima Hansia
March 10th, 2015

The Fresh Market, a major U.S. retail chain, recently joined the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ Fair Food Program, adding another victory in the battle for humane working conditions for tomato pickers in Florida’s $650 million industry. Thirteen companies including Burger King, McDonald's and Walmart have signed up so far.

Protest signs in Naples, Florida. Photo: jankypic Used under Creative Commons license
Food and Agriculture

Bangladeshi Tribals Evicted For Tea Plantation Expansion
Pratap Chatterjee
March 6th, 2015

Syed Tea and Land, a Bangladeshi company, has been accused of using armed men to evict ethnic minority communities in order to expand a tea plantation in Sreemangal in northeastern Bangladesh. The expansion will impact Kandas, Khasis and Tantis who have lived in the area for a century.

Sreemangal tea workers. Photo: Magalie L'Abbé. Used under Creative Commons license.
Financial Services, Insurance and Banking

Details Of Tax Avoidance Schemes For Wealthy HSBC Clients Revealed
Mayu Chang
February 27th, 2015

A cache of secret documents has thrust HSBC, the world’s second largest bank, into the limelight for helping international clients dodge taxes. A series of articles published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists is finally pushing reluctant governments to act almost eight years after the original leaks.

HSBC in Switzerland. Photo: Beat Strasser. Used under Creative Commons License.

Austrian Catering Company Accused of Discriminating Against Hungarian Employees
Nicolas Krotz
February 25th, 2015

Do & Co. AG, an Austrian catering company, has been accused of paying its Hungarian staff one third of what it pays Austrian citizens for the same jobs. The employees work on trains operated by the Austrian state railway company making trips between countries in central Europe.

ÖBB train in Vienna. Photo: ÖBB/Bönsch.
Technology & Telecommunications

Apple Agrees To Chinese Government Security Audits, Worrying Activists
Mayu Chang
February 11th, 2015

Apple has agreed to allow the Chinese government run security audits on the new iPhone to prove that there is no back door access for the U.S. government. However, activists say that this agreement could have the opposite effect, allowing China to broaden spying on its own people.

Apple iPhone in China. Photo: Mike Lau. Used under Creative Commons license.