Category Archives: News articles

Brazil’s Labor Laws

There is a good article over on The Economist, “Employer, beware,” about labor laws in Brazil and how onerous they can be to employers.  According to the article “They are costly: redundancies “without just cause” attract a fine of 4% for the total amount the worker has ever earned, for example.  (Neither a lazy employee nor a bankrupt employer constitutes just cause.)..In 2009, 2.1m Brazilians opened cases against their employers in the labour courts.  These courts rarely side with employers.”

Ikea Halts Expansion in Russia due to Corruption

Ikea, the world’s biggest home-furnishings retailer, has been held up over the past few years as the model of a company that has opened in Russia while refusing to compromise their corporate standards on bribery and standards.  But, apparently they’ve had enough.  The company says it won’t build more stores outside the Moscow region until local officials stop withholding permission for two of their outlets due to Ikea’s refusal to pay bribes to safey inspectors.

Ikea’s experience is not unique.  Carrefour, Wal-mart, Royal Dutch Shell, and Nestle SA have all faced trumped up government regulation according to the National Anti-Corruption Committee, a NGO based in Moscow.  To read more, find the Bloomberg article here.

Focus on Counterfeit and Pirated Goods

Recent trade talks with the Chinese government have put the issues of counterfeit and pirated goods back in the news.  Last year, China launched a six month campaign focused on enforcement of intellectual property rights but U.S. officials want to establish benchmarks to better measure progress and enforcement.  It seems that much of this attention is focused on technology products but retail products such as handbags, apparel, and DVD’s are still very much part of the mix.  Here is an article from the Business Standard and an article from Market Watch on the trade talks and the underlying issues.

Meanwhile, back in the U.S., several high profile law enforcement raids show the goods have a steady demand from the buying public here.  This article highlights a raid in Las Vegas that netted $350,000 in countfeit goods while this article reports a Los Angeles raid that seized over $4 million in counterfeit goods.

The Top 5 Mistakes of Privacy Awareness Programs

While this article specifically discusses “Privacy Awareness” programs, the points made are applicable to loss prevention, shrink, and safety campaigns.  In working with companies on training and awareness campaigns, we have come into organizations and found they were previously falling into many of these traps.  We especially think that problems #2 and #3 on this list are worth considering:

  • #2 – Equating “campaign” with “program”
  • #3 – Equating “awareness” with “training”

For a training & awareness campaign to be successful and produce results, it has to be well thought out and not simply a checkbox that is ticked off.  You can read the full article here.

New Anti-harassment/Violence Rules in Ontario

Canada’s two largest provinces now have laws requiring employers to seek to provide workplaces free of certain forms of “harassment”. No longer limited to human rights-related harassment, that term is broadly defined in these laws. Further, Ontario’s new law extends beyond “harassment”. It, like the federal law, also will require anti-violence policies and programs. These laws will apply regardless of whether a workplace has any prior history of such problems.    

Ontario’s Bill 168, The Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Act will come into force in June 2010.

With Canada’s two largest provinces and the federal jurisdiction now having such laws, it may well be that other provinces and territories will soon follow.  Read more here.