UNI Global Union has announced that over 30 clothing and retail brands that source garments from Bangladesh have agreed to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh (13 May 2013) (the Accord), which now covers over 1,000 Bangladeshi garment factories for a five-year period. The Accord commits its parties to "the goal of a safe and sustainable Bangladeshi [ready-made garment] industry in which no worker needs to fear fires, building collapses, or other accidents that could be prevented with reasonable health and safety measures".
The United Kingdom Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has announced that SAFC Hitech Ltd (SAFC) has been fined £120,000 after an employee sustained severe burns following a chemical explosion at the company's factory in Wirral in 2012. According to the HSE, an unsealed glass bottle containing waste produced from a trimethylindium (TMI) purification process exploded in the factory's waste deactivation area, engulfing the employee in flames.
The Canadian National Energy Board (NEB) has made available a letter (2 May 2013) addressed to Enbridge Pipelines Inc (Enbridge) chief executive officer Al Monaco from NEB board secretary Sheri Young, which accepts Enbridge's recently submitted corrective action plan (CAP). According to the letter, the CAP was required by the NEB to address Enbridge's "non-compliances" with pump station emergency shutdown requirements pursuant to pipeline Regulations and a related Standard.
The United States (US) Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced that an Iowa jury has awarded a record sum of US$240 million in damages for "disability discrimination and severe abuse" by Texas-based company Hill County Farms, trading as Henry's Turkey Service (Henry's Turkey), against 32 Henry's Turkey employees with intellectual disabilities.
South Korean conglomerate SK Group (SK) has announced its decision to convert 5,800 of its contract workers into permanent employees. Reportedly, the announcement follows recent similar large scale contract conversion moves by South Korean groups CJ, Hanwha and Shinsegae, but is the first to be made from among the Republic of Korea's so-called "Big Four Groups" (Hyundai, LG, Samsung and SK).
The United States (US) Department of Labor (DoL) has announced that a Phoenix District Court judge has ordered by consent judgment that DS Waters of America Inc (DS Waters) reinstate a delivery driver who had taken leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act 1993 (the FMLA), as well as to provide the driver with US$26,871 in back-pay and US$31,464 for out-of-pocket medical expenses under the FMLA.
The United States (US) Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced the US$230,000 settlement of a race harassment and retaliation suit by Utah based construction company Holmes and Holmes Industrial Inc (Holmes). According to the EEOC, a Holmes site superintendent was observed by a Court to have consistently used derogatory terms when addressing African-American employees, and that one victim of such abuse was "fired ... for complaining about it".
The United Kingdom Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has announced that the 2009 death of an experienced locomotive driver when he was crushed by 40 steel pipes has resulted in £300,000 in fines and costs for UK Coal Mining Ltd (UK Coal). According to the HSE, John Harbron was preparing to unload a pack of pipes from a rail-borne car in an underground space, "but when he cut plastic bands securing them in place they rolled sideways, fell off the car and landed on top of him".
The United States (US) Department of Labor (DoL) has announced that it has fined coal mine operator Rox Coal Inc (Rox Coal) US$110,000 for breach of a mandatory electrical hazard safety standard that was described by an adminstrative law judge as "quintessentially flagrant". The DoL stated that the breach resulted in an October 2007 incident where a miner "was shocked while changing the fuse on a high-voltage switch house" at Geronimo Mine in Pennsylvania.
The United States (US) Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has made available a statement (9 April 2013) made by EEOC chair Jacqueline Berrien for US Equal Pay Day, in which she discusses, among other things, the legacy of the Equal Pay Act, enforcement actions by the EEOC, and areas of persistent inequality, including the nexus of gender and ethnic origin.