Law & Trade

Australian fashion companies named in sweatshop court action

The Sydney Morning Herald Online

Australian clothing companies are forcing migrant workers to work up to 15 hours a day while paying them as little as AUD5 an hour, according to court documents lodged by the textile union.

The Textile Clothing and Footwear Union alleges that 23 well-known fashion companies are running unregulated supply chains that exploit low-paid workers – predominantly female migrants – by paying wages well below the legal minimum and failing to provide basic employment entitlements including superannuation, annual leave, workers' compensation and sick leave.

Call for cigarette tax hike in Asia to curb smoking

The Malaysian Insider

Anti-smoking campaigners are targeting the low cost of cigarettes in Asia as part of World No Tobacco Day. Cigarettes are cheap in many Asian countries with packets selling for around USD1, ABC News reports. Kylie Lindorff from Melbourne-based Cancer Council Victoria says experience from Australia shows raising taxes is one of the most important things a government can do to deter smoking.

Knockoffs a headache for IPO-bound Alibaba


At first glance, the Monster Tron T1 headphones sold on Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba's Taobao site are a tempting offer for audiophiles looking for state-of-the-art hi-fi equipment.


Harvey Norman franchisees fined for 'misleading consumers'

The Federal Court of Australia ordered three Harvey Norman franchisees to pay a total of USD60,000 in penalties for making false or misleading representations regarding consumer guarantee rights.

The Federal Circuit Court also ordered another Harvey Norman franchisee to pay a pecuniary penalty of USD26,000.

This brings to nine the total number of Harvey Norman cases brought to court by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

New govt impact: No change in India's FMCG fortunes for now

Business Standard

Consumer goods makers don’t expect a pick-up in demand soon despite the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party getting a simple majority in the Lok Sabha elections on Friday.

Alibaba expedites action against fakes

The Wall Street Journal Online

In a significant move to streamline its process for dealing with counterfeits, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. this month began automatically removing from its biggest shopping site products that some brands have flagged as fake.

To view the full article (note: you must be a Wall Street Journal Online subscriber), visit The Wall Street Journal Online.


New Zealand firm gets China nod to export infant formula

Five New Zealand manufacturers have gotten the approval to export infant formula to China.

“These manufacturers represent around 90 percent of our infant formula exports to China by volume,” said Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Food Safety Minister Nikki Kaye. “We appreciate the cooperative relationship with Chinese authorities in registering these New Zealand manufacturers. The new rules signal China’s desire for greater accountability for imported infant formula from all countries."

Coles accused of 'unconscionable conduct' towards 200 small suppliers

The Guardian

Australias competition watchdog has launched federal court action against Coles, accusing the supermarket giant of engaging in unconscionable conduct towards 200 small suppliers.

Coles faces allegations it used unfair tactics to pressure suppliers to agree to make ongoing payments to the company in return for purported benefits from changes to purchasing decisions. 

Victoria's Secret sues local shop in Shanghai for USD818,000

Shanghai Daily

Lingerie brand Victoria's Secret is suing an investment management company in Shanghai for the unlicensed use of its trademark in a city centre retail store, the Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People's Court heard on Thursday.

The United States-based chain, which is owned by L Brands Inc, is demanding compensation of CNY5.1 million (USD817,500) and wants the store to stop using the trademark on its signage, loyalty cards and employee name tags. It also wants an apology to be printed in Xinmin Evening News and on the women's clothing website

JR retail unit ordered to let tenants pass on tax hike

The Japan Times Online

The Japanese Fair Trade Commission has ordered a unit of East Japan Railway Co. to stop blocking its retailing partners from passing the 1 April sales tax hike to their products.

The anti-monopoly watchdog issued the order on Wednesday by making its first use of a special law passed specifically for purpose of ensuring that companies can appropriately transfer the cost of the tax hike, which rose to 8 percent from 5 percent, to their prices.

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