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22 July 2019
France: Teleperformance called on to comply with duty of vigilance legislation
In a statement on 18 July, international trade union federation UNI Global Union, together with the well-known French legal activist NGO, Sherpa (for the protection and defense of victims of economic crimes) announced they were putting the French outsourcing giant, Teleperformance (best known for its call center business), on formal notice to comply with the French Law on Duty of Vigilance regarding human rights by ‘strengthening its plan and implementation procedures.’ If the warning is not followed...
22 July 2019
France: Samsung indicted for misleading business practices violating labor rights
On 03 July 2019, two French activist groups — Sherpa and ActionAid France signaled that the he French subsidiary of the Korean electronics giant Samsung was indicted. According to their statements (Sherpa statement, ActionAid statement), this stage means ‘that the investigating magistrate recognizes that Samsung’s ethical commitments may indeed constitute business practices in which the company, or issuer, is engaged.’ Indeed article L121-1 of the national Consumer Code explains that a business practice is...
19 July 2019
ING: three NGOs file complaint with Dutch contact point for the OECD, demanding that the bank ceases investment in the palm oil sector
On 5 July, environment-focused NGOs from three different countries – Milieudefensie (Netherlands), Sustainable Development Institute (Liberia) and Wahana lingkungan Hidup Indonesia – announced that they have filed a complaint with the Netherlands’ contact point for the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) against the Dutch banking group ING. The complaint regards the bank’s funding of three palm oil companies: Noble Group, Bolloré Group/Socfin and Wilmar International. The NGOs...
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.
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.
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:
17 January 2019
How the CSR approach is betting on the power of blockchain technology
A Fortune publication (16 January 2019 here) has reported on how the Ford Motor Company; the Korean battery-manufacturing giant LG Chem, China’s Huayou Cobalt, and RCS Global, a London-based organization for responsible supply chains, announced the joint creation of the first blockchain distributed platform to encompass the entire production cycle for cobalt in the Democratic Republic of Congo that will be able to detect  any recourse to the use of child labor in the production process. The technology will be...