Human Rights

Swedish Paper Manufacturing Giant Blacklisted for Child Labor Practices
Fatima Hansia
April 21st, 2015

Stora Enso – a Swedish paper manufacturing giant – has been blacklisted after investigations into its supply chain in Pakistan showed that the company was knowingly using child labor. In March, AP7, a major Swedish pension fund, sold off its $4.1 million stake in Stora.

A child laborer scavenging in Pakistan's waste dump. Photo: Nadir Burney. Used under Creative Commons license.

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.

Vinci Accused Of Labor Violations on Qatar Construction Contracts
Richard Smallteacher
March 27th, 2015

Sherpa, a French NGO, has asked courts to investigate Vinci, a French construction company, for violation of migrant workers rights in Qatar. QDVC, a Vinci subsidiary, has €2.2 billion ($2.3 billion) in infrastructure contracts for the 2022 World Cup soccer tournament including a new subway and an orbital highway.

Migrant workers in Qatar. Photo courtesy Sherpa
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.