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20 May 2020
McDonald’s: trade unions file sexual harassment complaint with the OECD
An international group of trade unions is tackling ‘systematic sexual harassment” at McDonald’s by bringing a case to the OECD for mediation. The complaint also targets two of the fast food chain’s shareholders as the OECD’s own guidelines ‘require due diligence by institutional shareholders in companies to ensure responsible business conduct.’
15 May 2020
NGOs track ‘bad’ buyers in global garment supply chains
A study by the Center for Global Workers’ Rights (CGWR), at the Pennsylvania State University, published on 27 March has caught the attention of worldwide public opinion. Entitled “Abandoned? The Impact of Covid-19 on Workers and Businesses at the Bottom of Global Garment Supply Chains”, the research – based on feedback from 316 garment suppliers in Bangaldesh (of a total of 2,000) – indicates that since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic more than half of Bangladesh suppliers have had the bulk of their...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
15 May 2020
Solvay: solidarity fund set up by managers, employees and shareholders to help staff affected by the crisis raises €15 million
This significant sum – dedicated to the solidarity fund announced on 9 April and created at the end of the same month – was announced on 6 May by Solvay chief executive officer Ilhma Kadri to the Belgian press. The fund was set up to help employees and their relatives who are facing financial difficulties, and not only those placed on short-time working. It is financed first and foremost by the Belgian chemical company’s 30 senior managers and the CEO, who have all agreed to waive 15% of their salary, from...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
6 May 2020
EU: EU Commission to propose a regulation by 2021 on human rights due diligence in global supply chains
On 29 April the European media reported that EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders had announced that next year, and as part of the EU Commission’s 2021 work plan and the European Green Deal, he would be presenting a legislative proposal that would create a due diligence obligation to prevent the risks of human rights violations in global supply chains. While clearly not new news (c.f. article No. 11675), Mr. Reynders’ announcement, made during a European Parliament webinar, confirms that the EU...
26 March 2020
Danone guarantees jobs and salaries to all its employees worldwide for 3 months.
On 26 March, during an interview on French radio (RTL), Emmanuel Faber, CEO of the French food group Danone, stated the following commitment on air, “All employment contracts at Danone and all salaries, worldwide, are guaranteed for the next three months.” In addition to not laying off employees because of Covid-19, Danone will cover “all income up to salary level” in the event of recourse to partial unemployment measures, due to supply disruptions in a factory, or the inability of people to...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
10 March 2020
Great Britain: financial sector still failing to narrow the gender pay gap
While companies with more than 250 staff have until 05 April to comply with the legal requirement to publish their third annual gender pay gap data (c.f. article No. 11073), initial indications from roughly a quarter of these businesses have already started to leak through to the press. One thing standing out from the leaks is that the UK’s dominant financial sector continues to be a laggard. The BBC has calculated that the average salary gap in this sector based on these preliminary numbers has risen to 23.1%...
5 March 2020
Great Britain: investors increasingly more vociferous over the gender gap
The Investment Association, a trade body representing UK investment managers, has written to 63 companies listed on the FTSE 350 criticizing them for the lack of female participation on their supervisory and management boards (BoM). In the letter the IA has called on these major companies to explain how they were working towards improving gender balance and encouraged them to reach the goal of 33% female management board participation by the end of the year, as per the Hampton-Alexander Review recommendation (c.f....
4 March 2020
CSR: major brands reportedly linked to Uyghur forced labor in China
In the foreword to the Uyghurs for Sale report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI* here), published on 01 March 2020, ‘The Chinese government has facilitated the mass transfer of Uyghur and other ethnic minority citizens from the far west region of Xinjiang to factories across the country.’ According to the report displaced citizens are working ‘Under conditions that strongly suggest forced labour, Uyghurs are working in factories that are in the supply chains of at least 83 well-known global...
13 February 2020
EU: the European Commission withdraws part of trade tariff preferences granted to Cambodia due to human rights violations
On 12 February the European Commission announced it was withdrawing some trade tariff preferences accorded to Cambodia because of ‘serious and systematic violations of the human rights principles enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights’, it noted in a statement. Brussels had warned Cambodia in February 2019 that it could suspend these preferential trading terms if the country did not take the necessary measures to safeguard human rights including failure to respect freedom of...
13 February 2020
UN: UN Human Rights Office lists 112 companies with activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
This controversial list (here) that was published on 12 February has been subject to intense lobbing not least by a variety of NGOs and trade union bodies that are calling for greater transparency in order to lead awareness campaigns or calls for boycott (for more on this issue c.f. article No. 10817) and other equally vigorous opponents to the publication. The list includes 112 companies, 94 of which are domiciled in Israel and 18 of which are domiciled in six other countries (United States, France, Luxembourg,...