Apple releases list of its suppliers for the first time
Apple released a list of its major suppliers for the first time, bringing the company up to par with the practices of many other big American corporations, including Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Nike, which have released similar lists in the past. Labor rights groups and journalists have asked Apple to release such a list for years, believing that knowing the identity of the company’s suppliers could shed light on whether Apple’s partners are treating their workforces responsibly. Releasing the list could also bolster the efforts of shareholder advocates of corporate social responsibility pressuring Apple to improve conditions in overseas factories, where labor abuses have been documented.
Apple opens suppliers’ doors to labor group
Apple Inc. (APPL) agreed to let outside monitors into factories of suppliers such as Foxconn Technology Group (2317) following at least 15 deaths at its Chinese parts makers. The world’s most valuable technology company joins Nike Inc. (NKE), Nestle SA (NESN) and Syngenta AG (SYNN) in turning to the Fair Labor Association, set up in 1999 to monitor workplace conditions globally in an initiative by former U.S. President Bill Clinton. Apple is the first technology business to sign up to the FLA as a participating company, the Washington-based body said today in a press release.
Terry Branstad, Iowa governor, slapped with $1 million sexual discrimination lawsuit by state commissioner
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad is facing claims he discriminated against the state’s openly gay Iowa’s workers’ compensation commissioner by asking him to resign and cutting his salary after he refused. As the Des Moines Register is reporting, commissioner Christopher Godfrey is asking for $1 million in compensation, while alleging defamation, harassment, sexual discrimination and extortion against the state.
PG&E diverted safety money for profit, bonuses
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. diverted more than $100 million in gas safety and operations money collected from customers over a 15-year period and spent it for other purposes, including profit for stockholders and bonuses for executives, according to a pair of state-ordered reports released Thursday. An independent audit and a staff report issued by the California Public Utilities Commission depicted a poorly led company well-heeled in its gas operations and more concerned with profit than safety.
Ruling leaves dioxin cleanup out of Monsanto trial
As the trial begins in a major toxic pollution lawsuit against Monsanto Co., jurors won’t be allowed to tackle a key issue: Should the company pay to clean up dioxin it allegedly spewed across the city of Nitro? As a result, Putnam County jurors will decide only if current and former Nitro residents should receive medical monitoring to detect diseases potentially caused by exposure to Monsanto’s dioxin. They won’t be able to do anything to clean up homes and businesses, ending the toxic exposure.
You name it, they do it: Homecare providers in their own words
Homecare providers, caregivers, personal assistants – the millions of workers who provide in-home care in this country go by many names, but they all share a commitment to serving others. Unfortunately, many of these workers share something else in common: low wages. Although they provide a valuable service to many Americans, assisting their clients with daily tasks and enabling them to maintain their independence, many homecare providers do not receive minimum wage or overtime protections guaranteed by the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Behind the counter, an acute anxiety
Pharmacies throughout the country have been shaken by a rash of bold robberies by gun-wielding criminals hunting for narcotic painkillers, anti-anxiety drugs and other controlled medications, either to quench their own addictions or to sell. But nowhere has the face of this epidemic been more frightful than on Long Island, where a pair of pharmacy robberies 30 miles apart resulted in six deaths.
US Department of Labor’s OSHA cites Braselton, Ga., poultry processor with 8 safety violations, proposes more than $142,000 in penalties
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited poultry processor KD Acquisition I LLC, doing business as Coleman Natural Foods, for eight safety violations at its KD5 plant in Braselton after receiving a complaint in July about safety hazards. Proposed penalties total $142,150.
Wonk bloggers and the vanishing voices of workers
Earlier this week, I got into a little Twitter battle with Matthew Yglesias after the prominent blogger tweeted out “EXCLUSIVE: The activities of individual business executives have no relationship to the level of economy-wide employment.” That statement flies in the face of my own reporting showing that the decisions of individual CEOs to lay off workers and lower wages have a very real effect on economy-wide employment. If one CEO sees that he or she can crush a union and get away with lower wages, or force workers to be more productive by laying off other workers, other CEOs in the same industry will see it as a symbol that they can get away with that behavior themselves.