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LIBERIA: Firestone's Liberian base called a 'gulag': A group has filed suit contending employees are overworked, underpaid, and exposed to pesticides.
by Shashank BengaliThe Philadelphia Inquirer
December 31st, 2006
In Liberia, a war-ravaged country with 80 percent unemployment, almost any job is a good one. But Firestone is increasingly under fire from human-rights advocates here and in the United States who say conditions on the 80-year-old plantation in Harbel - Firestone's single-biggest source of raw material for its U.S. manufacturing operations - are scandalous.

INDIA: Farmland to factory in industrializing India
by Somini SenguptaInternational Herald Tribune
December 29th, 2006
Just beyond the city limits, a patch of land where an auto factory is planned amid a sprawl of potato fields and rice paddies has become a battleground for the world's longest-running democratically elected Communist government.

SWEDEN: Low Prices, High Social Costs: The Secrets in Ikea's Closet
by Olivier Bailly, Jean-Marc Caudron and Denis LambertLe Monde Diplomatic
December 29th, 2006
Despite Ikea's current claims, low prices always incur a high social cost. Between 1994 and 1997 three documentaries screened by German and Swedish television accused the firm of using child labor under degrading conditions in Pakistan, India, Vietnam and the Philippines

US: OSHA Cites Tool Maker
Hartford Courant
December 27th, 2006
A West Hartford tool manufacturing plant has been cited for widespread safety and health hazards for the third time in six years by the Hartford office of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the agency said Tuesday.

CHINA: Group reports harsh working conditions at Bratz factory
Associated Press
December 22nd, 2006
The pouty Bratz dolls so popular as Christmas presents are made at a factory in southern China where workers are obliged to toil up to 94 hours a week, among other violations, a labor rights group said in a report released Friday.

WORLD: Safety of Nanotechnology Needs More Attention
Environment News Service
November 28th, 2006
The number of consumer products made with nanotechnology is exploding, with a 70 percent increase in the past eight months. While recognizing the value of these molecular-level advances, critics say the Bush administration is doing too little to ensure the safety of nanotechnology for workers and the public.

GERMANY: Arrest made in VW corruption scandal
by Benjamin DierksThe Guardian (UK)
November 21st, 2006
The investigation into the corruption scandal at Volkswagen, Europe's biggest carmaker, tightened today with the arrest of Klaus Volkert, the firm's former head of the works council.

VENEZUELA: Venezuela lawmaker says workers seize, stop Coca-Cola plants
Market Watch
October 23rd, 2006
Former Coca-Cola workers blocked access to all Coca-Cola Co. (KO) bottling plants in Venezuela and picketed administrative offices Monday, demanding a solution to a long-running dispute over unpaid severance.

US: Unwanted Imports: Goods deemed toxic elsewhere shipped to U.S.
Associated Press
October 15th, 2006
Destined for American kitchens, planks of birch and poplar plywood are stacked to the ceiling of a cavernous port warehouse. The wood, which arrived in California via a cargo ship, carries two labels: One proclaims "Made in China," while the other warns that it contains formaldehyde, a cancer-causing chemical.

US: Watchdog Group Blasts Ford for Ethanol Loophole
Environment News Service
October 13th, 2006
The Ford Motor Company is misleading the public and the government about several of its vehicles that claim to operate on ethanol, according to letters sent to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by the watchdog group Public Citizen.

THAILAND: Lingerie workers rally at US embassy
Bangkok Post
October 8th, 2006
Around 800 Thai lingerie workers waved bras and placards to defy martial law and demonstrate in front of the US embassy on Sunday, demanding the Americans investigate the closure of an underwear factory.

KAZAKHSTAN: Thousands of Arcelor Mittal workers in Kazakhstan protest, demand pay raises
Associated Press
September 30th, 2006
Thousands of steelworkers on Saturday joined striking miners of an Arcelor Mittal-owned metal and mining complex in Kazakhstan, in an escalating standoff with the international steel giant over wages.

US: Dump site back on Superfund list
by Laura IncalcaterraThe Journal News
September 27th, 2006
Pollutants dumped by Ford Motor Co. and others have led the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to restore the Ringwood mines and landfill to the Superfund National Priorities List of the country's most-contaminated sites.

US: Regulator Says Civil Suit Likely For Raines
by Terence O'HaraWashingtom Post
September 14th, 2006
Fannie Mae's top regulator yesterday said it is "more than likely" the federal government will sue former chief executive Franklin D. Raines and other former company officers, seeking to recover bonuses and salary and perhaps impose fines for the mortgage finance company's accounting debacle.

TRINIDAD: Prime Minister sounds Alcoa warning
by Clint Chan TackNewsday (Trinidad and Tobago)
September 6th, 2006
Prime Minister Patrick Manning yesterday said Alcoa would not be allowed to construct its controversial aluminium smelter in Chatham if it does not commit to developing downstream aluminium industries in Trinidad and Tobago.

TRINIDAD: Residents, police clash in Chatham
by Susan MohammedNewsday (Trinidad and Tobago)
August 30th, 2006
A CONFRONTATION involving Chatham residents protesting the construction of ALCOA’s multi-million dollar smelter plant and Alcoa officials and police threatened to become violent yesterday, when a policeman held one of the protesters at gunpoint.

US: Ford rebuts link of waste, illness
by Barbara WilliamsNorth Jersey Media Group
August 24th, 2006
The government's latest findings are that a plague of illnesses among Upper Ringwood residents may well be connected to their living near Ford Motor Co.'s leftover toxic waste dump.

CHINA: Polluting paper mills must clean up or close
by Wu YongChina Daily
August 22nd, 2006
Paper mills in Shenyang have been told they face suspension and even closure if they do not meet strict wastewater control standards, a leading official in the city's municipal government announced.

WORLD: Has Coke become the new McDonald's?
by David TeatherThe Guardian (UK)
August 18th, 2006
Welcome to the Coke side of life. Africa's planned legal action is just the latest in a litany of alleged human rights and environmental abuses in developing markets that has made Coca-Cola a cause celebre.

US: Creditors: Dana execs' bonus plan could spur pension cuts
by Joseph RebelloAssociated Press
August 14th, 2006
Dana Corp. creditors said the company's latest plan to reward six top executives would allow them to reap a "windfall" if they were to get Dana to cut workers' retirement benefits.

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