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Retail & Mega-Stores

Big-box stores like Wal-Mart, Asda and Home Depot have squeezed out small businesses all around the world, driving down wages and quality of life where they do business, all in the name of low prices. They are the largest, slowest-moving easy targets, smaller (and yet still massive) retail chains like Starbucks, Forever 21, Abercrombie & Fitch, the Gap and others have also drawn fire for sweatshop abuses, labor violations, and other questionable corporate behavior.


UNIQLO, Japanese Fast Fashion Label, Accused of Labor Violations
by Mayu ChangCorpWatch Blog
April 12th, 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.

Fashion District Businesses Accused of Laundering Mexican Drug Money
by Richard SmallteacherCorpWatch Blog
September 30th, 2014
One thousand law enforcement officers staged an early morning raid on dozens of businesses in Los Angeles fashion district to seize $65 million allegedly derived from drug trafficking. QT Fashion, a company that imports wholesale maternity wear from China to Mexico, provided a key to the money laundering scheme.

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.

Fast Food Workers Hold Biggest Ever Strike For Wages in U.S.
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
September 5th, 2014
Hundreds of low wage fast food workers were arrested at strikes and protests in some 100 cities around the U.S. on September 4. They were demanding that companies like Burger King, KFC, McDonald's and Wendy's pay workers a living wage of $15 an hour.

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.

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.

Cambodian Police Open Fire at Garment Workers Protest, Killing Four
by Richard SmallteacherCorpWatch Blog
January 3rd, 2014
At least four people were killed when Cambodian police opened fire on a garment workers protest in Canadia Industrial Park in Phnom Penh. The workers were demanding a minimum wage of $154 a month from employers who supply Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brands as well as H&M.

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.

Bumper Year for Corporate Donations Reveals Profit Motives
by Rick CohenCorpWatch Blog
September 10th, 2013
U.S. corporations gave away $18.15 billion in charitable donations in 2012 – a combination of cash, grants, and in-kind goods - up 12.2 percent in nominal terms over the previous year. A closer look reveals profit motives, notably for pharmaceutical companies and retail chain Wal-Mart.

Rival Safety Agreements for Bangladesh Garment Factories Announced
by Richard SmallteacherCorpWatch Blog
July 8th, 2013
Two rival agreements that aim to improve safety in Bangladeshi garment factories were launched this week. The European-led Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh’s Garment Industry was launched Monday while the much weaker North American led Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety was launched Wednesday.

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