Daily Media Briefing 10th October

Daily Media Briefing


Posted in: Corporate Reputation, Daily Media Briefing, Employees, Human Rights, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Investment

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October 10, 2012

Corporate Reputation

Supreme Court denies Chevron $19bn Ecuador appeal

The US Supreme Court has declined to block a judgement from an Ecuadorean court that Chevron, the US oil firm, should pay billions in damages for pollution in the Amazon. Chevron was fighting the ruling that it must pay $18.2bn (£11.4bn) in damages, a sum increased to $19bn in July. It is the latest move in a decades-long legal battle between Texaco, bought by Chevron in 2001, and the people of the Lago Agrio region of Northeastern Ecuador. The decision could affect other oil firms accused of pollution. Chevron still affirms its belief that the judgement, handed down by a court in Ecuador in February 2011, is fraudulent and not enforceable under New York law. (BBC)

Alcoa to pay $85m to settle Bahrain law suit

Alcoa, the world’s leading producer of aluminium, is to pay $85m to settle a long-running lawsuit brought by Bahrain’s state-controlled aluminium company over alleged corruption. The deal – which Aluminium Bahrain said was worth almost $450m before discounts on future contracts were factored in – is thought to be the first over a claim of alleged bribery brought by an overseas business to the US courts. It could trigger other foreign businesses to launch similar actions against US multinationals. (Financial Times*)

Responsible Investment

Oxfam turns investor with Mongolian loan

The British charity, Oxfam, has made its first venture into corporate finance with a £1m loan to a Mongolian machinery and equipment leasing company. The loan is being made by the ‘Small Enterprise Impact Investing Fund’ – a joint initiative between Oxfam, the City of London Corporation and Symbiotics, a Swiss microfinance specialist. The fund aims to support social projects and provide financial returns for its investors.  (Financial Times*)

International Development  

Rural India marches on Delhi over landless poor

Thousands of rural Indians are marching to Delhi in a bid to protect their land rights and have a say in the widespread economic reforms currently being implemented in India. PV Rajagopal, the veteran activist who organised the march, told the Guardian that there was “conflict at every level with the model [of development] we have now. On Tuesday the march reached Agra, just north of Delhi, stepping up pressure on the Rural Development Minister, Jairam Ramesh, who is continuing talks with protesters to end the impasse. (Guardian, News Track India)



Sainsbury’s boss attacks chancellor’s plan for workers to sacrifice rights for shares

The CEO of Sainsbury's,  Justin King,  has attacked the British chancellor, George Osborne's,  scheme that could see staff "trade" employment rights for shares in the company they work for, saying it would undermine already low levels of trust in business. The ‘employee-ownership scheme’ would see companies offer workers shares worth between £2,000 and £50,000 in exchange for sacrificing rights over unfair dismissal, redundancy and requests for flexible working. "This is not something for our business," said King, "The population at large don't trust business. What do you think [they] will think of businesses that want to trade employment rights for money?" (Guardian)