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CorpWatch Exclusives

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.

World Bank Agrees to Investigate Labor Conditions at Indian Tea Company
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
February 21st, 2014
The World Bank has agreed to investigate Amalgamated Plantations Private Limited (APPL) in India for abusive working conditions on tea plantations in the north-eastern Indian state of Assam, following a formal complaint by workers. A Columbia Law School team has confirmed the workers allegations.

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.

Spinneys Lebanon Criticized for Labor Practices
by Richard SmallteacherCorpWatch Blog
May 28th, 2013
Charbel Nahas, the former Lebanese labor minister, is to appear before a court next month on charges of publishing incorrect information, slander and libel over the labor practices of Spinneys, the Dubai-based Middle Eastern supermarket chain.

H&M Responds Slowly to Bangladesh Factory Collapse Killing 1,100
by Puck LoCorpWatch Blog
May 19th, 2013
H&M (Hennes & Mauritz), a major Swedish “fast fashion” retailer, led 30 international companies this week to commit to a new $3 billion fund to improve the safety of garment factories in Bangladesh. Watchdog organizations say the companies acted only because of external pressure by activists and workers.

Benetton, Others Tied to Bangladesh Factory Disaster: 400 Killed
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
May 1st, 2013
Multinationals like Benetton have tried to distance themselves from Rana Plaza, a Bangladeshi building housing five clothing factories, that collapsed last week killing over 400. Activists argue that change will only come when workers get more political support to challenge them.

Boeing Helps Kill Proposed Law to Regulate Drones
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
March 30th, 2013
Boeing, the aircraft manufacturing giant from Seattle, helped defeat a Republican proposal in Washington state that would have forced government agencies to get approval to buy unmanned aerial vehicles, popularly known as drones, and to obtain a warrant before using them to conduct surveillance on individuals.

South African Gold Miners Sue Over Deadly Lung Disease
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
January 3rd, 2013
Thousands of gold miners have asked permission from South African courts to sue some 30 mining companies over negligence in health and safety that the miners allege has caused them to contract silicosis, a debilitating and potentially fatal lung disease.

H&M Targeted for Uzbek Cotton Allegedly Grown with Forced Labor
by Puck LoCorpWatch Blog
December 27th, 2012
Swedish company H&M, the world’s second-largest clothing retailer, is under pressure to cut ties with supplier South Korea-based Daewoo International and others that purchase cotton from Uzbekistan, where the government allegedly forces children and adults to harvest the white fiber for little or no pay.

Bolivia pushes back against Swiss commodities giant Glencore
by Carmelo Ruiz-MarreroCorpWatch Blog
July 24th, 2012
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.

Sweatships at Sea: Carnival Cruises Pay Below International Standards
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
May 1st, 2012
Carnival Cruise staff on UK ships are paid $1.20 an hour or $400 a month in basic wages, according to the Guardian newspaper. These workers lose their tips, ie roughly 15 percent of wages, unless they get at least a 92 percent favorable rating from customers.

Global Horizons Indicted for Human Trafficking
by  Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
September 15th, 2010
Mordechai Orian, president of Global Horizons, a Los Angeles-based labor recruiter, was indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice for "engaging in a conspiracy to commit forced labor and document servitude" of some 400 Thai citizens who were brought to work on farms in the U.S.

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