My Blog List

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

60 international activists occupy Gold Corporation headquarters in Rosia Montana

In September 28th, approximately 60 international activists taking part in the Reclaim the Fields camp, together with the local association Alburnus Maior, from Rosia Montana, Romania, occupied and blocked the entrance to the Rosia Montana Gold Corporation's  headquarters in the village's Old Square. This action was in defiance of the companies continuing attempt to expropriate locals and destroy an area protected by Romanian conservation law.

Rosia Montana Gold Corporation is 19.31 percent owned by the Romanian state with the remaining shareholders including Gabriel Resources, Newmont and Barrick Gold all three companies being Global Compact participants. The consortium itself is registered as as a Global Compact participant since 2005.

More information:
Indy Media U.K
Rosie Montana (Wikipedia)

Merck to Pay USD 1.5 Million Penalty for Environmental Violations at Two Pa. Pharmaceutical Plants

On September 28 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice  announced that Global Compact participant Merck & Co. has agreed to pay a USD 1.5 million civil penalty to settle alleged violations of federal environmental laws at its pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities in Riverside and West Point, Pennsylvania, U.S.

The complaint alleges that Merck did not comply with Clean Air Act emissions reporting and recordkeeping requirements. The complaint also asserts that Merck discharged pollutants in excess of limits in its Clean Water Act permit; failed to notify local officials of hazardous substances released; and failed to properly label and store hazardous waste.  

Read more.
from U.S. EPA

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

China's ZTE wins two contracts despite corruption allegations

Despite mounting allegations of corruption and criticism of illegally bringing Chinese foreign nationals to work on its telecom projects in Africa, China's ZTE has been awarded contracts to build nationwide fiber networks in South Africa and Burundi.

ZTE Corporation is a Global Compact participant since 17-02-2009

Read more:

Hunger Strikers Protest Lafarge’s French Cement Plant Closing

French trade unionists employed at Global Compact participant Lafarge last week began a hunger strike at the headquarters of the company in the Paris suburb of Saint-Cloud. Some 12 unionists from the company’s Frangey cement plant near Lézinnes, L’Yonne province, are protesting the company’s decision to close that facility.


Read more:

Monday, September 26, 2011

June 2011: China court gives verdict in Siemens bribery case

In June 2011, a former senior executive with state-owned Global Compact participant China Mobile has been sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve for taking bribes from another Global Compact participant Siemens AG, Caixin magazine reported.

The Higher People's Court of Henan Province upheld an earlier verdict on Shi Wanzhong, former general manager of China Mobile's human resources department, for taking a total of US$5.06 million in bribes together with Tian Qu, a middleman, when Shi was head of China Mobile's Anhui branch from 2002 to 2009.

Note: the Siemens corruption cases have been cleared up after large sanctions were upheld against the company. The company since then set up a Integrity Fund, managed by the World Bank.

Source: Shanghai Daily

DHL accused of double standards on international human rights

International trade unionists have denounced Global Compact participant Deutsche Post DHL for using lie detectors on its staff outside Germany.

DHL accused of double standards on international human rights

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Royal Bank of Scotland severs ties with makers of cluster bombs

The Royal Bank of Scotland has agreed to pull out of conducting further financial deals with cluster-bomb manufacturers after its investments in the controversial industry were exposed by The Independent and arms campaigners. The campaign was led by Amnesty International.

Royal Bank of Scotland has been a Global Compact participant since October 2003.

Read more: article from the Independent

Goldcorp Removed from Dow Jones Sustainability Index | MiningWatch

Effective September 19th, Goldcorp has been removed from the Dow Jones North America Sustainability Index. The announcement comes in the context of ongoing allegations of human rights violations and evidence of environmental contamination in communities affected by Goldcorp’s mining activities. (...) “Goldcorp’s deletion from this index less than nine months after it was added should tell Wall Street something the communities have known for years – Goldcorp’s operations in Guatemala and Honduras are not sustainable for communities, the environment, nor ultimately for responsible investors,” says Amanda Kistler, mining campaigner for the Center for International Environmental Law.

Canadian mining company Goldcorp is a Global Compact participant since 2009/06/09.

Read more:
Goldcorp Removed from Dow Jones Sustainability Index | MiningWatch

Friday, September 23, 2011

Overtime Lawsuit against Scotiabank Gets Green Light

In June 2011, the Global and Mail reported Bank of Nova Scotia lost a bid to quash a massive class-action lawsuit that claims Global Compact participant Scotiabank unfairly denied more than 5,000 of its employees compensation for overtime work.

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Thales SA Agree To Pay 630 Million Euros In Frigate Case

In June 2011, the French government and defense electronics company and Global Compact participant Thales SA agreed to pay EUR630 million to Taiwan in compensation, capping a 20-year-old bribery scandal over frigate sales, The Wall Street Journal reported.

More on:

Brazil bank Banco do Brasil sued for 'funding deforestation in the Amazon' - What's On Tianjin

In April 2011, public prosecutors reported Global Compact participant Banco do Brasil - was being sued for allegedly funding deforestation in the Amazon. Prosecutors in the state of Para said they had uncovered 55 loans worth nearly $5m (£3m) that the Banco do Brasil approved to farms that had broken environmental and employment laws.

Read more:
Brazil bank Banco do Brasil sued for 'funding deforestation in the Amazon' - What's On Tianjin

Pfizer Confesses About ‘Potential’ Overseas Bribes

In August 2011, Global Compact participant Pfizer “voluntarily” provided the US Department of Justice and the US Securities and Exchange Commission with information concerning “potentially improper payments” made by Pfizer and Wyeth personnel in connection with certain unspecified sales activities outside the US....

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Nokia accused of violating Chinese labour laws over employee layoffs

Finnish mobile giant and Global Compact participant Nokia has been accused by some of its employees of violating Chinese labour laws following new plans to cut a number of employees working at Nokia China, the National Business Daily reports. 

Read more

China probes Johnson Controls unit for alleged lead pollution

On September 15th 2011, a China unit of  lead-acid battery maker and Global Compact participant Johnson Controls JCI.N  halted production at its Shanghai factory as authorities were investigating into an alleged lead pollution case.  

More on Reuters (or here if link is broken)

$2.6 million-worth of bribes China Mobile Communications Corporation

China on in late August 2011, sentenced to death the former chairman of a branch of state-owned telecom group China Mobile Communications Corporation for accepting $2.6 million-worth of bribes. Li Hua, chairman and general manager of the Sichuan branch of China Mobile Communications Corporation, was convicted of receiving bribes totalling 16.48 million yuan, Xinhua reported. 

More on the Bangkok Post

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

DatacenterDynamics | Accenture settles US federal-contracting kickback lawsuit

In September 2011, Accenture settled a lawsuit with the US Department of Justice, which accused the vendor of having received kickbacks for recommending certain vendors' hardware and software to government agencies, inflating prices and rigging contract bids. Accenture agreed to pay about USD 63.7m. Accenture is a member of the UNGC Anti-Corruption Working Group.

Read more at: DatacenterDynamics | Accenture settles US federal-contracting kickback lawsuit

Global Compact Critics: Roquette lockout ends after agreement reached with union members

Global Compact Critics: Roquette lockout ends after agreement reached with union members

Top Ten List of Corporate defendants in the FCPA

On April 8, 2011,  the FCPA blog listed the current top ten list of corporate defendants in an FCPA-related forfeiture. Among them, 5 were U.N Global Compact participants Siemens (a long story...), ENI S.p.A ,Technip S.A., Daimler AG, and Alcatel-Lucent.  ABB Ltd., one of the Global Compact founding fathers was listed in the 11th position, thus not on the list. 

Read the FCPA Blog Entry here.
Official Press release from the S.E.C.:

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

French giant Veolia cut down to size for abusing Palestinian rights

Private companies have long been heavily involved in Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights, such as building and maintaining the illegal settlement infrastructure, and the wall built on Israeli-occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank. The campaign against UN Global Compact participant Veolia was initiated in response to the company’s five percent stake in the consortium that is constructing the light rail project that links West Jerusalem with illegal Israeli settlements in occupied East Jerusalem and the surrounding West Bank. Veolia holds a thirty-year contract for the operation of its first line, due to open later this month. Veolia and its subsidiaries also operate bus services, waste management and a landfill all deep within the occupied West Bank, and all for the use of Israeli settlers. More

Carrefour fined over minimum wage

On June 2011, UN Global Compact participant CARREFOUR was fined EUR3.66m by a court in Evry, south-east of Paris for failing to pay some of its staff the legal minimum wage. Source

China Fines Wal-Mart, Carrefour for Misleading Prices

On January 2011 China’s top economic planner ordered Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Carrefour SA to be fined for misleading pricing at some of their stores in the nation, as the government works to rein in rising prices for consumer goods. Source. Bloomberg

Security firm G4S confirms involvement in Israel's occupation

Danish-British security firm and Global Compact participant G4S recently confirmed in a letter its involvement in the Israeli occupation and violations of international law --reported on last month by The Electronic Intifada.