Consumer Goods & Textiles
Shopping in a Target store, you know you're not in Wal-Mart. But, critics say that in terms of working conditions, sweatshop-style foreign suppliers, and effects on local retail communities, big box Target stores are very much like Wal-Mart, just in a prettier package.
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.
Stora Enso - a Swedish paper manufacturing giant - has been blacklisted after investigations into its supply chain in Pakistan showed that the company was knowingly using child labor. In March, AP7, a major Swedish pension fund, sold off its $4.1 million stake in Stora.
Adidas, the German sportswear company, is making Olympics uniforms for the UK team at sweatshops in Tangerang city, near the main international airport of Jakarta, Indonesia. Young female workers are paid 5,000 rupiah (54 cents) an hour for a 65 hour work week, according to revelations made in the Independent newspaper.
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.
Behind the five intertwined rings of the Athens games, underpaid workers are sewing the shirts, gluing the shoes, and putting zippers to running suits and track apparel branded as Olympic--in working conditions that would make even the most highly trained athlete sweat.
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.
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.
A growing group of chain-store corporations that cater to America's poor with cheap goods are classifying workers as managers. By categorizing employees as salaried managers these dollar stores avoid paying overtime wages that the Fair Labor Standards Act mandates for hourly workers.
Clothing chain retailer Forever 21 has been sued by the U.S. government for ignoring a subpoena requesting information on how much the company's suppliers pays the workers who make its clothes. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the salaries are well under the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.