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CorpWatch Exclusives

Retailer SportsDirect Accused of Sweatshop Like Conditions in the UK
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
June 1st, 2015
SportsDirect, a British sports merchandise retailer, has been accused of employing workers in sweatshop like conditions by Channel Four Dispatches, a UK TV program. The broadcaster aired undercover footage shot by a reporter at the company’s Shirebrook warehouse in northern England.

Australian “Free Range” Chicken Company Alleged to Use Exploited Labor
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
May 11th, 2015
Baiada, one of Australia’s biggest poultry producers, has been accused of using labor contractors that under pay and exploit foreign visitors on temporary work permits. The company sells Steggles and Lilydale Free Range Chickens to supermarket and fast food chains like Aldi, Coles, KFC and Woolworths.

UNIQLO, Japanese Fast Fashion Label, Accused of Labor Violations
by Mayu ChangCorpWatch Blog
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.

Florida Tomato Pickers Sign Up New Major Retail Chains For Higher Wages
by Fatima HansiaCorpWatch Blog
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.

Brazilian Truth Commission Alleges Volkswagen Had Ties To Former Military Junta
by Nicolas KrotzCorpWatch Blog
January 26th, 2015
Volkswagen's subsidiary in Brazil has been accused of providing material support for torture conducted by the military dictatorship during its 21 year reign from 1964 to 1985. Details of the role of the German car manufacturer emerged in the final report of a national Truth Commission issued last month.

Subsidizing Contractor Misconduct: Alma's Story
by Chris ThompsonSpecial to CorpWatch
January 21st, 2015
When Alma Aranda tried to exercise her legal right to take unpaid time off to care for her dying mother, Verizon harassed her with so much paperwork that her hair fell out. In a new CorpWatch investigation into federal contractors who violate workers rights, Chris Thompson tells her story.

Subsidizing Contractor Misconduct
by Chris ThompsonSpecial to CorpWatch
January 7th, 2015
Every year, the U.S. government awards billions of dollars in federal contracts to companies who routinely violate basic legal rights of workers. This new report profiles three individuals who were harmed by Imperial Sugar, Tyson Foods and Verizon and explains a new presidential order that could help reduce abuses.

Indian Rose Exporter Declares Bankruptcy in the Netherlands
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
October 2nd, 2014
A subsidiary of Karaturi Global, the Indian flower export multinational accused of land grabbing in Ethiopia and Kenya, has been declared bankrupt by a Dutch court. The company owes some $300,000 in the Netherlands, as well as upwards of $4 million in taxes in Kenya.

Amazon Workers in Germany Strike for Better Pay
by Richard SmallteacherCorpWatch Blog
September 23rd, 2014
Some 2,000 German employees of Amazon, the internet retail giant, walked off their jobs this week at four sites - Bad Hersfeld, Graben, Leipzig and Rheinberg. The strike action was coordinated by Vereinte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft (United Services Union), a Berlin trade union commonly known as Ver.di.

Migrant Rights Activist Fights Thai Pineapple Company Lawsuit
by Pratap Chatterjee
September 12th, 2014
Natural Fruit, one of Thailand’s largest pineapple processors, has sued Andy Hall, a British researcher, over a report that he worked on for Finnwatch on labor abuses in the industry. Hall faces some seven years in jail and $10 million in fines.

Yue Yuen Shoe Factory Backs Down After Workers Strike for Pensions
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
May 3rd, 2014
Some 40,000 workers in seven Yue Yuen shoe factories in Dongguan city, China, went on strike last month to successfully demand that their employer make pension payments required under the law.

Anglo American Workers Strike Against Contract Labor Conditions in Chile
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
March 25th, 2014
Some 4,000 contract workers at Los Bronces copper mine in Chile went on strike against Anglo American, a UK-based mining multinational from South Africa. The strike is the latest in a series of protests against the Chilean copper industry, the world’s largest producers of the metal.

Fast Food Workers File Lawsuit Against McDonald’s for Alleged Wage Theft
by Fatima HansiaCorpWatch Blog
March 21st, 2014
Over 25,000 low-wage employees working at McDonald’s franchises in California, Michigan and New York are being systematically cheated of their wages, say attorneys who filed seven simultaneous lawsuits last week against McDonald’s and its franchisees for violations of labor law.

Chocolate Slavery Case Against Nestlé Allowed to Proceed
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
December 24th, 2013
Eight years after they sued Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Cargill and Nestlé for allegedly forcing them to work as child labor on a Côte d'Ivoire cocoa plantation, three young men from Mali have won a small victory – the ability to be heard in a California court.

Ikea France Accused of Spying on Employees
by Richard SmallteacherCorpWatch Blog
December 15th, 2013
Sûreté International – a private detective agency - was allegedly hired by Ikea France to spy on prospective and existing employees, activists from the union Force Ouvrière and even disgruntled customers.

Del Monte Plantation Workers Win Settlement in Global Horizons Case
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
November 18th, 2013
Some 150 Thai workers on a Del Monte pineapple plantation in Hawaii will get $1.2 million to settle allegations of sub-standard working conditions. The lawsuit was filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against seven companies including Global Horizons, a labor recruiter from Los Angeles.

Samsung Worker May Have Contracted Cancer at Workplace, Court Finds
by Richard Smallteacher
October 28th, 2013
A South Korean court has found "considerable causal relationship" between leukemia that killed a Samsung worker and her job dipping wafers in chemicals at a memory chip factory in Gi-heung, South Korea. This is the third time courts have supported alleged victims of workplace hazards in Samsung facilities.

Flower Growers in Kenya Strike Against Karuturi Global
by Pratap Chatterjee
October 10th, 2013
Flower growers in Kenya have gone on strike to protest unpaid wages from Karuturi Global, the Indian flower export multinational. The strike is the latest in a series of problems that have caused the company share price to plummet from over Rs39 in 2008 to Rs0.63 in mid-September 2013.

Samsung Sued for $109 Million For Labor Violations in Amazon
by Richard SmallteacherCorpWatch Blog
August 17th, 2013
Samsung, the South Korean electronics giant, faces a 250 million real ($109) million fine for working condition violations at a plant in the free trade zone of Manaus, the capital of Amazonas state in Brazil.

Daily CEO Pay Now Exceeds U.S. Workers Annual Salary
by Richard Smallteacher
June 30th, 2013
U.S. corporate CEO salaries rose 16 percent in 2012, according to research firm Equilar. Average daily CEO pay is now greater than that of the average annual worker salary. Top salary: Larry Ellison of Oracle - over $96 million. Top exit bonus: James Mulva of ConocoPhillips - $156 million.

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