Chemicals & Manufacturing

Volkswagen, Europe's biggest carmaker, is heading for a showdown with its 100,000-strong German workforce after trade unions rejected company proposals to increase the working week to 35 hours without extra pay late on Monday.
The Methanex Corporation, a Canadian chemical company, stumbled today in its attempt to sue the U.S. government for almost $1 billion over a crucial California clean water law. The Sierra Club welcomes the decision by a tribunal under the North America Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (NAFTA). But we are concerned that the narrow procedural ruling left the door open for future anti-environmental decisions by this tribunal or by NAFTA tribunals in other cases.
Permission for Petrobras of Brazil to drill for oil in Yasuni National Park, one of the most biologically diverse places in the world, has been suspended, but some damage has already been done by Swedish construction giant Skanska. Unless new money is found to protect the forest, exploration may resume.
South Korea's corporate watchdog said Thursday that it fined Hyundai Motor Co., the country's No. 1 automaker, and its four affiliates more than 60 billion won (US$63.9 million) for 'unfairly' supporting other units.
In September 1998, the environmental justice movement in the US had a very important victory against a major corporation, Shintech, a subsidiary of Shin-etsu Chemical of Japan.
Calvin Bryant was crippled in a Imperial Sugar plant explosion in Savannah, Georgia, that also killed 14 of his co-workers. In a new CorpWatch investigation into federal contractors who win millions in government business despite violating workers rights, Chris Thompson tells his story.
Destined for American kitchens, planks of birch and poplar plywood are stacked to the ceiling of a cavernous port warehouse. The wood, which arrived in California via a cargo ship, carries two labels: One proclaims "Made in China," while the other warns that it contains formaldehyde, a cancer-causing chemical.
Despite its image as a progressive corporate citizen, Apple Computer had one of the worst recycling records in the American PC industry -- until last week. But even after Apple unveiled its first free computer recycling program Friday, it still falls short of competitors like Hewlett-Packard and Dell, observers say.
Consumers have embraced living green, and for the most part the mainstream green movement has embraced green consumerism. But even at this moment of high visibility and impact for environmental activists, a splinter wing of the movement has begun to critique what it sometimes calls "light greens."