Consumer Goods & Textiles

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CorpWatch Blog
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Clothing chain retailer Forever 21 has been sued by the U.S. government for ignoring a subpoena requesting information on how much the company's suppliers pays the workers who make its clothes. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the salaries are well under the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. Read More
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Glencore corporation, the secretive Swiss commodities giant which has become one of the world's biggest trader of grain, oil and minerals, has hit an unlikely roadblock. The Bolivian government nationalized the Colquiri tin and zinc mine, the third Glencore asset to be seized by the state in five years. Read More
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Kalevala, a 19th century epic poem from Finland, was inspired by traditional verses from the ancient forests on the border of central Finland and Russia. Today some of the 600 year old trees around the Kalevala national park are being chopped up to make cheap furniture for Ikea, according to activists. Read More
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Adidas, the German sportswear company, is making Olympics uniforms for the UK team at sweatshops in Tangerang city, near the main international airport of Jakarta, Indonesia. Young female workers are paid 5,000 rupiah (54 cents) an hour for a 65 hour work week, according to revelations made in the Independent newspaper. Read More
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A growing group of chain-store corporations that cater to America's poor with cheap goods are classifying workers as managers. By categorizing employees as salaried managers these dollar stores avoid paying overtime wages that the Fair Labor Standards Act mandates for hourly workers. Read More
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Financial Times
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If you ever buy an item of clothing from Tesco, the UK supermarket chain, you can be sure it will not contain any cotton from Uzbekistan. The company decided to boycott Uzbek cotton in 2006, following reports of forced and state-sanctioned child labour. That was the easy part. Eliminating the unwanted material from Tesco's supply chain and proving that it was no longer used would take until the end of 2007. Read More
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For nearly six years Ramatex Textile and Garment Factory barred government regulators from entering industrial premises leased from the City of Windhoek. Ramatex came to Namibia in 2001, lured by the newly implemented African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Evidence of environmental violations finally emerged after the company absconded. Read More
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Shopping in a Target store, you know you're not in Wal-Mart. But, critics say that in terms of working conditions, sweatshop-style foreign suppliers, and effects on local retail communities, big box Target stores are very much like Wal-Mart, just in a prettier package. Read More
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