Top Stories

May 05, 2017


Apple announces $1 billion Fund to create US jobs in manufacturing

Apple, the world’s most valuable public company, has announced plans to dedicate resources to American job creation with a $1 billion fund to invest in advanced manufacturing in the United States. On a new webpage, Apple highlights a 19-year track record of American job creation, including how the company has grown from 5,000 to 80,000 employees in the United States since 1998, in part thanks to its sprawling retail operation. In introducing the fund, Apple has joined a growing list of companies including Carrier, SoftBank and Infosys, that have said in recent months that they will add, promote or keep jobs in the United States. Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, did not address whether the fund was influenced by President Trump, who singled out Apple for criticism while on the campaign trail. (New York Times)

Corporate Reputation

Federal investigators probe Uber over ‘Greyball’

The US Department of Justice is investigating Greyball, a software tool used by Uber to show a misleading version of the app to regulators, at a time when Uber is already fighting accusations of patent infringement in court. Uber said Greyball was sometimes used to mislead regulators in markets where Uber drivers were operating without official permission, and the app showed regulators the wrong locations for cars. Uber said that it was trying to protect drivers from harm, and has subsequently banned employees from using Greyball on regulators’ accounts. Uber’s recent troubles, which include allegations of sexual harassment inside the company and an embarrassing video of CEO Travis Kalanick berating a driver, have prompted several senior executives to leave the company. (Financial Times)*


Union calls for investigations of McDonald’s rent policies

The Service Employees International Union, backer of a five-year campaign to improve pay and job conditions for fast-food workers, on Tuesday asked Illinois and California officials to investigate how McDonald’s calculates restaurant rents, which generate about one-fourth of its revenue. The union behind the “Fight for $15” campaign alleges that McDonald’s does not accurately or specifically disclose the formula used to set rents and that it charges far more than landlords of other fast-food chains. That makes it difficult for the company’s 2,500 US franchisees to raise wages for restaurant crews, it says. (Reuters)


Big four banks distance themselves from Adani coalmine as Westpac rules out loan

Australia’s big four banks have all ruled out funding or withdrawn from Adani’s Queensland coal project, after Westpac said it would not back opening up new coalmining regions. Resources minister, Matthew Canavan, invited Queenslanders seeking home loans or term deposits to boycott Westpac as a result of its decision as he added the bank was “more interested in listening to the noisy activists in Sydney than the job hungry people” in his constituency. An Adani Australia spokesman said the company had not approached Westpac for funding for the mine, rail or port expansion. The CEO of Westpac, Brian Hartzer, pointed out the bank would increase its lending target for “climate change solutions” from $6.3bn to $10bn by 2020 and $25bn by 2030. (Guardian)

Sustainable Development

Importance of private financing for sustainable forest management highlighted by UN

A United Nations meeting on sustainable management of forests discussed the importance of mobilising resources from a diverse range of actors to ensure broad ownership as well as to advance the overall sustainable development agenda. In the UN Strategic Plan for Forests, agreed earlier this year, UN Member States stressed the importance of partnerships with philanthropic organisations, foundations, as well as public-private and other multi-stakeholder entities in scaling up resources for sustainable forest management. “By far the greatest source of forest financing has been – and will continue to be – from commercial private sector investments in sustainable forest management,” Manoel Sobral Filho, the Director of the UN Forum on Forests secretariat, said. (United Nations)

Image source: Apple store 5th Ave at Flickr website. Creative CommonsAttribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0).