Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 26, 2013 12:37 PM
One year after the Tazreen factory fire in Bangladesh killed 112 workers, and seven months after the Rana Plaza factory collapse claimed over 1,200 lives, H&M, the world's second-largest clothing retailer, has announced a plan to ensure that workers making its clothing are paid a living wage.
The move is a first from the divided groups of European and North American retailers that have since been put in the spotlight following the factory disasters. While the separate groups—the mostly-European Accord on Fire and Building Safety and the North American-based Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety—have made some progress on ensuring factory safety and workers' rights in Bangladesh, the issue of compensation is still being debated among government and corporate officials.
Within five years, the Swedish fast fashion giant said 750 of its most important suppliers, covering 60 percent of its goods, should be paying a fair living wage to 850,000 textile workers.
"Textile workers should be able to live on their wage," Helena Helmersson, Global Head of Sustainability at H&M, told the Wall Street Journal. "Wage revisions from the government are taking too long."Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Barry Silverstein on October 17, 2012 12:32 PM
Even as the topics of taxes and global competition took the stage at Wednesday night's U.S. presidential debate, one little known fact about American companies doing business overseas did not surface.
US corporate giants Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Starbucks apparently paid a measly 30 million pounds in UK tax over the past four years on combined sales of more than 3.1 billion pounds in sales, according to an analysis by Britain's the Guardian newspaper data hounds, using tax information collected by Duedil. That's a whopping disparity.
Starbucks, in particular, is coming under fire for boasting about its "profitable" UK operation over the past decade to investors and analysts, even though, as Reuters puts it, "Over the past three years, Starbucks has reported no profit, and paid no income tax, on sales of 1.2 billion pounds in the UK."
Now British parliamentary committees are planning to question the company about its business practices as the tax legislation governing global firms in the UK comes under scrutiny. So Starbucks argues that it has paid taxes "to the letter of the law" in Britain, even as it's "the letter of the law" that may be the very problem.Continue reading...
games people play
Posted by Anthony Zumpano on September 12, 2011 12:58 PM
When you contemplate the generous — some would say scandalous — tax breaks enjoyed by large companies, the benefiting brands you probably recall are multinational conglomerates like GE or “too big to fail” financial firms like Goldman Sachs.
But in addition to the kinds of brands that keep PR armies constantly marching in defense of their reputations, one sector that’s enjoyed extraordinary joy every April 15, according to the New York Times, is the gaming industry.
The Times focuses on Electronic Arts, which over the last five years paid $98 million in taxes – which sounds like a painful tax bill until you compute that if EA paid the full official US corporate tax rate of 35 percent, it would have shelled out $420 million on its $1.2 billion in profits.
Conspiracy theorists could claim that IRS agents are huge fans of EA’s Madden football game franchise, but the reality is that the company can take advantage of its three-headed brand identity: it’s a software-development brand, an entertainment brand, and an online retailing brand.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 31, 2011 04:02 PM
One-quarter of the 100 highest-paid US CEOs' compensation last year surpassed the federal income tax paid by their companies.
Given America's staggering national debt, that statistic — from a new report by the Institute for Policy Studies — has touched off a firestorm led by Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings, ranking member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, who called for hearings on executive compensation.
The IPS report on executive pay found the 2010 average compensation for those 25 execs was $16.7 million. Brands topping the list include:
* eBay, whose CEO John Donahoe made $12.4 million, but which reported a $131 million refund on its 2010 current U.S. taxes.
* Boeing, which paid CEO Jim McNerney $13.8 million, sent in $13 million in federal income taxes, and spent $20.8 million on lobbying and campaign spending.
* GE, where CEO Jeff Immelt earned $15.2 million in 2010, while the company got a $3.3 billion federal refund and invested $41.8 million in its own lobbying and political campaigns.
According to Reuters, Cummings has asked the committee "to examine the extent to which the problems in CEO compensation [have] led to the economic crisis,” and "why CEO pay and corporate profits are skyrocketing while worker pay stagnates and unemployment remains unacceptably high."Continue reading...