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12 July 2019
Great Britain: employers brace themselves for the Global Climate Strike
With the Global Climate Strike, founded following the movement propelled by the emblematic Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, having called for a global strike to protect the planet on 20 September, some employers are taking the lead on the matter, the Financial Times revealed in recent days. The British newspaper asked major employers what they plan to do when the day of the strike comes around. Patagonia, the US clothing brand, said that it always encourages its employees to campaign for the environment and even...
11 July 2019
Great Britain: government looking to stamp out modern slavery
After the recent scandal surrounding the discovery of UK’s largest modern slavery network, where a gang in the West Midlands was found to have been busing over victims (400) from Poland, on 09 July the UK government announced it would be cracking down harder on corporates over the issue of slavery. Since 2015 large companies in the UK have to publish an annual report detailing their efforts to counter modern slavery, forced labor and human trafficking (c.f. article No. 9173). However the Interior Minister stated...
5 June 2019
The Netherlands: multi-stakeholder agreements concluded for the metals and natural stone sectors to prevent CSR risks
On 23 May 2019, the Dutch Government together with businesses (e.g. Tata Steel Nederland B.V.), industry associations (e.g. Association of the Dutch Metallurgy Industry – VNMI), trade unions (e.g. CNV and FNV) and NGOs (e.g. UNICEF Nederland) signed the International Responsible Business Conduct Agreement for the Metals Sector. For the first time, a European industry association, the European Association of Metals (Eurometaux), is one of the signatories of an International Responsible Business Conduct (IRBC)...
21 May 2019
Great Britain: trade union applying pressure on Amazon UK shareholders
Against a backdrop of repeated criticism of Amazon UK’s working conditions, in May 2019 trade unions had a first-time meeting with a number of the online giant’s shareholders, the goal of which being to convince them to contribute to devising a plan that could change the situation for Amazon’s 27,500 UK employees.
25 April 2019
H&M becoming even more transparent as regards its garment suppliers
In a press statement from 23 April 2019, Swedish clothing company H&M announced that for each of its garments it would be sharing details such as production country, supplier names, factory names and addresses, and the number of workers in the factories, and it emphasized the fact that ‘By sharing extended details on where our garments are made we make it easier for customers to make more informed choices when shopping.’
9 April 2019
EU: European Commission draws attention to the need for Seoul to uphold the social clause in the EU-Korea trade agreement
In Seoul on 09 April, EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström co-chaired the 8th Trade Committee set up by the EU-South-Korea trade agreement that was initially signed back in 2010 and that both parties recognize as being a success. The meeting was nonetheless somewhat marred by Seoul’s difficulty in approving a section of the ILO’s fundamental conventions that aim to improve working conditions and labor rights. Since the troublesome TTIP (UE-US) and CETA (EU-Canada) negotiations, the European Commission...
9 April 2019
Thailand: strengthens sanctions as part of its framework tackling forced labor
Thailand has just tightened legislation tackling forced labor. In order to fast track implementation of the legal changes, the law on human trafficking is being amended to include forced labor as one of the factors infringing respect and it also broadens the definition to include within legal scope all those involved in the purchase, sale, confinement and exploitation of people.
29 January 2019
Brazil : Danone and Nestlé both guilty of using forced labor to traffic yoghurt
Brazil’s Employment Ministry has fined both agri-food giants in an employment case that was ‘analogous to modern slavery.’ The Intercept Brasil website, in cooperation with the Reporter Brasil platform reported on this case on 28 January 2019. Prosecutors have identified 28 different street vendors of dairy products operating within a credit-based reselling system and in which those working go regularly unpaid. Transported into the poorest areas of the country these workers live together in unfit housing...
24 January 2019
Spain: quality label for ‘socially responsible hotels’ that respect employees fundamental labor rights
A socially responsible quality label for hotels that respect employees’ fundamental labor rights. Thus the project that Spain’s hospitality trade unions have just launched, in partnership with the University of Malaga. Hotels will be assessed against a set of criteria covering security, training, equal opportunities, and fair salary structures. Results are available on the site: