Top Stories

May 30, 2022


Victoria's Secret to finance $8.3m settlement for Thai workers

Thai workers who were sacked in 2021 from a factory supplying global lingerie brands including Victoria’s Secret will receive $8.3 million, in what labour activists are calling the biggest settlement of its kind in the global garment industry. About 1,200 workers were laid off without severance pay and wages owed to them by Brilliant Alliance Thai Global (BAT) after it went bankrupt and shut down its factory in March 2021. The incident was one of “hundreds of cases of wage theft” that labour activists say took place in the garment industry during the Covid-19 pandemic. The settlement, financed by Victoria’s Secret in a loan agreement with BAT’s owner, could set a precedent for global brands to better protect the rights of workers in their supply chains. (Reuters)


Hyundai accused of ‘greenwash’ following plans for gas plant

South Korean automotive manufacturer Hyundai has come under fire for announcing a plan to build a natural gas-fired power station soon after pledging to use only renewable energy. Less than two weeks after joining the RE100, a coalition of big corporations that have committed to using 100% renewables, the company said it would be building a large-scale liquid natural gas power plant at its flagship manufacturing facility. The 184-megawatt plant is projected to supply 70% of the power Hyundai needs to run its main vehicle production base in Korea. An NGO coalition, including Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, and Youth4ClimateAction, said that Hyundai’s planned gas plant is “contrary to the mission of RE100”, which aims to send a signal to the market and governments to hasten the shift to zero-carbon electricity grids. (Eco-Business)


G7 nations agree on plans for fossil fuel funding phase-out

Following a three-day meeting of energy and climate ministers from G7 nations to discuss climate policy, ministers have pledged to deliver “predominantly” low-carbon power grids, effectively decarbonising the electricity grid, by 2035. In a big breakthrough in the bid to end fossil fuel generation, Japan has, for the first time, promised to end subsidies for overseas fossil fuel projects. All G7 countries have now made this pledge, with a deadline set for the end of 2022. However, the released communique calls for the “eventual phase-out of domestic unabated power generation”, a diluted version of the original draft which committed to deliver fossil-fuel-free electricity networks by 2030. Despite this, COP26 President Alok Sharma said the communique “reaffirmed our unwavering commitment to the Paris Agreement”. (edie)


Twitter fined $150m by US authorities for selling user data

Social media platform Twitter has been ordered to pay a $150 million fine in the US after law enforcement officials accused it of illegally using users’ data to help sell targeted ads. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice say Twitter violated a privacy agreement, where Twitter had vowed to not give personal information like phone numbers and email addresses to advertisers. The FTC accused Twitter of breaching a 2011 FTC order that explicitly prohibited the company from misrepresenting its privacy and security practices. The FTC found that Twitter’s privacy breach “affected more than 140 million Twitter users, while boosting Twitter’s primary source of revenue.” Additionally, Twitter will be expected to halt the use of phone numbers and email addresses illegally collected and notify users about improper security information. (BBC News)


HSBC faces investor doubt after senior banker comments

Financial services company HSBC is facing queries from customers about its commitment to fight climate change after its suspended head of responsible investing, Stuart Kirk, downplayed the risks. At least one large institutional investor, which manages in excess of $100 billion, is seeking opinions from consultants on whether HSBC Asset Management should help manage its sustainability funds in the wake of the controversial comments. Staff inside the bank have also sought reassurances about its policies amid concerns about how HSBC will be perceived by clients. HSBC’s chief executive has said Kirk’s comments were “inconsistent with HSBC’s strategy and do not reflect the views of the senior leadership”. HSBC Asset Management has received several inquiries from institutional clients about the comments. (Reuters)





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