Chemicals & Manufacturing

Takata, the Japanese auto parts maker, will pay a $1 billion fine to the U.S. government after pleading guilty to hiding information about the likelihood that the company’s car air bags could accidentally explode. Takata air bags have been linked to at least 17 deaths around the world.
The union activists suing U.S. coal company Drummond Co. Inc. in Alabama in the 2001 murders of three labor leaders say deliberate foot-dragging by Colombian authorities is preventing the jury from hearing their star witness. Concerned by the delay, 12 Democrats in the U.S. Congress wrote Colombia's vice president last week asking him to intercede.
Rights activists are unhappy with the Labour Ministry's plan to amend labour laws to introduce 80 hours of overtime every month for factory workers, including those in export processing zones (EPZ).
While the world braces for a US war against Iraq, Washington is using its newly inked Free Trade Agreement with Jordan to open sweatshops and secure an ally in the region.
Fishing communities in the Caribbean island of Trinidad are protesting a $US1.5 billion aluminum smelter that will process raw material from Brazil, Jamaica and Surinam. Cedros Peninsula United, a local organization, says that the factory uses technology that has had serious environmental impacts in countries from China to Iceland and the U.S.
The California Supreme Court delivered a stiff warning to businesses Thursday, ruling that a San Francisco man can sue Nike Inc. for false advertising for allegedly lying about working conditions at Asian factories where its athletic shoes and clothes are made.
Companies found guilty of anti-competitive practices will face multibillion euro fines or more than 10 times the current tariffs for abusing their monopoly and taking part in cartels under draconian new competition guidelines adopted by the European Commission today.
A workers' rights group in the United States released a report on Tuesday detailing what it called brutal conditions and illegal practices in Chinese toy factories, many of which supply some of the world's biggest brand-name toy makers, including Walt Disney and Hasbro.
Federal regulators have turned down a request from Monsanto Co. to take action against dairy companies that advertise milk as free of synthetic hormones.
The U.S. obsession with soft toilet paper has driven the growth of brands like Cottonelle Ultra, Quilted Northern Ultra and Charmin Ultra. But fluffiness comes at a price: millions of trees harvested in North America and in Latin American countries, including some percentage of trees from rare old-growth forests in Canada.