Exposing corporate wrongdoing
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Deutsche Bank was founded in 1870. It has paid out $7.2 billion in fines for its role in the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis and $2.5 billion in fines for its role in the global interest rate fixing scandal. It has also paid out $125 million to the U.S. to drop investigations into bribes paid out to officials in China, Italy, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as manipulating prices of precious metals. The Banking on Climate Chaos report estimates that Deutsche Bank provided over $74 billion in fossil fuel loans between 2016 and 2021 for projects such as Energy Transfer Partners’ Dakota Access Pipeline and Exxon’s ultra-deepwater drilling project off the coast of Guyana.
Deutsche Post, better known as DHL, is the successor to the Deutsche Bundespost, the German postal service that was privatized in 1995. It paid out $13.5 million for misclassifying hundreds of delivery drivers in California as independent contractors, and $1.5 million for wage violations of airport workers in Los Angeles, Miami, and New York. Similar suits are pending in Tennessee. It has also been sued for underpaying East European drivers who make deliveries in Germany and are forced to live in their trucks because of low wages. In Turkey, DHL was accused of firing 30 workers were members of the Tümtis trade union for attempting to organize workers.
DomusVi is one of Europe’s largest private elder care home providers and has expanded its operations to China and Latin America in recent years. It has been the target of countless protests, investigations and lawsuits in Spain, France and Chile by workers as well as relatives of residents for issues ranging from understaffing to neglect of patients to union repression. Those affected by DomusVi accuse it of “slavery-like” working conditions, “treating residents as if they were numbers” and “doing business with the dead”. Through its complex network of subsidiaries based in tax havens like Jersey and Luxemburg, the company has been shown to evade paying taxes in several European countries.
Dow Chemical is one of the three largest chemical companies in the world.* Founded in 1897, it is headquartered in Midland, Michigan. It became infamous for its production of Agent Orange and napalm and in the 1970s, two key ingredients in the weapons used in the U.S. war in Vietnam. Agent Orange is a chemical defoliant designed to kill plants and trees while napalm is an explosive that sticks to its targets. Dow joined other companies in paying out $180 million in compensation to U.S. military veterans who suffered health problems from Agent Orange but fought successfully to defeat a 2005 lawsuit by Vietnamese victims who suffered lasting illnesses and birth defects.
Eastman Chemical Company
Eastman Chemical is the former chemicals division of the Kodak photo company. The Tennessee operations of Eastman were commissioned to make RDX explosives and to manage nuclear weapons development during the Second World War. In 1960 a major explosion at the company’s aniline manufacturing plant in Kingsport, Tennessee, killed 16 people. In 1994, Eastman Chemical became a separate company, headquartered in Kingsport. Today, Eastman owns and operates over 50 manufacturing sites in 16 different countries.