Latest Articles and News

Corporate Watch produces regular news reports, feature articles and in-depth investigations on corporations and their impact on society and the environment. If you have any tip-offs or leads for us, please get in touch.


18
Sep
2017
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Short, badly paid and late: home care in England and Wales

New investigation finds one in five home care visits last for less than 15 minutes in some areas, based on results from Freedom of Information disclosures from 31 councils. Across England and Wales, 7% of visits are shorter than 15 minutes, despite government guidance saying visits should last at least half an hour.


06
Sep
2017
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G4S and Carlson Wagonlit: profiteers scrabble for more Home Office contracts

This week secret filming by a brave whistleblower gave a glimpse of the incessant brutality inside the Home Office's Brook House detention centre. But the prison's private contractor, G4S, is still hoping that its deal to run this and neighbouring Tinsley House will be renewed. The company could also stand to make more money from another £600 million Home Office contract up for renewal: managing asylum seeker accommodation on the outside.

However, G4S is by no means the only corporation profiting from the detention and deportation machine. Indeed one other, Carlson Wagonlit, just had its own deal to organise deportation flights renewed for another 5 years.


06
Sep
2017
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Trauma, Death and Profits - Youth Prisons in the UK

Child in handcuffs

This August, Corporate Watch were asked to support a Global Week of Action to Shut Youth Prisons by providing research about Youth Prisons in the UK. This article highlights the companies profiting from the imprisonment of children and young people, as well as the trauma, abuse, and deaths that these institutions perpetuate.


05
Sep
2017
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DSEI: A supermarket for state surveillance and border wars

By Shoal Collective, first published on Border Flashpoint News.

As borders are increasingly militarised and their operation privatised, migration, more than ever before, is also an anti-militarist struggle.

It took Stephen* two years to get to the UK. The journey began in his home country of Sudan, crossing through Libya, Italy, France and Belgium before reaching the UK where he is applying to stay. Like thousands of others, he spent several months in France and Belgium before eventually crossing the UK border, earlier this year, in the back of a van.


03
Aug
2017
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‘We give them the language to hide what they are doing’: a CSR insider spills the beans

Corporate Social Responsibility: what's it all about? Corporate Watch spoke to an industry insider who has worked with some of the world’s biggest multinationals to find out.

Why do corporations produce corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports and publicity?

They use it to distract people from what is going on ‘over there’ – in the parts of their business they don’t want people looking at. Those of us working in the CSR teams give them the language to hide what they are doing.

It’s revealing that it’s mostly just the CSR teams sit closely with a corporation’s communications and marketing. You can tell if a company is serious about being responsible if they have people from the core of the business connected to the CSR work. But most don’t.

Actually many corporates don’t actually call it CSR anymore – just CR. They have dropped the ‘social’. This came in a few years ago. Another new name is ‘Corporate Sustainability’.


13
Jun
2017
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Vinci, Company Profile

Vinci workers demolishing the Calais jungle

Corporate Watch profiles controversial French construction giant, Vinci. 


26
May
2017
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Exploring and opposing green capitalism

On 8 May Corporate Watch held a symposium on green capitalism, bringing together activists, academics and anyone who was interested, to discuss trends within green capitalism, how to oppose them and possible alternative approaches.

The symposium was organised following the publication of our A-Z of green capitalism in which we explored the idea and related themes, including genuinely ecological alternatives.

Green capitalism is often presented as a way of addressing environmental problems without having to change underlying economic systems. However, put simply, it is a contradiction in terms as capitalism is fundamentally reliant on the exploitation of nature and natural resources (as well as people!). But the idea of green capitalism is also used as an effective way of undermining ecological resistance and efforts towards systemic change.


16
May
2017
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Iraqi deportations: the airlines helping the Home Office deport refugees to war zones

The Home Office is trying to deport dozens of refugees to Iraq, with at least 30 people currently held in detention centres awaiting forced removal. But instead of using high-profile charter flights, the Home Office is now turning to a handful of major airlines to take Iraqi deportees as scheduled passengers: Royal Jordanian, Turkish Airlines, and Qatar Airways. Strong resistance by deportees and supporters may yet win out though, and several flights have been cancelled in the last week.


08
Apr
2017
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The Hostile Environment: turning the UK into a nation of border cops

A run-down of the Home Office's "hostile environment" measures against migrants, from NHS charges to the renting ban.


07
Apr
2017
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People behind Cuadrilla win state approval to keep identities secret

UK fracking company and target of environmental protest, Cuadrilla, is using new legislation designed to increase corporate transparency to hide the identity of the people who control it.


According to documents filed at Companies House, the four individuals that ultimately control Cuadrilla Resources Holdings Ltd, the UK-registered parent company of the Cuadrilla group, are using an exemption in the government’s ‘Persons of Significant Control’ legislation, introduced last year to protect their identities.


Previous disclosures have shown Cuadrilla is majority owned by the investment funds Riverstone Holdings and AJ Lucas. But the attempt to withhold information suggests others may be involved, with a Chinese state-owned oil firm previously rumoured to be a possible investor.


The government introduced Persons of Significant Control (PSC) legislation in June 2016. Its aim, in the words of then Business minister Baroness Neville Rolfe, is to:


06
Apr
2017
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Drax's dirty energy

 

Ahead of Drax's AGM, Biofuel Watch, give us the low down

 

On 13 April, Drax Plc, operator of Drax Power Station, will be holding its AGM in York, sparking protests both locally and in London where its major investors have their offices. Campaigners will be highlighting Drax's involvement in dirty energy, its links with climate change and deforestation, and its continued reliance on government subsidies – which could instead be going to support genuinely renewable energy – to keep afloat.


31
Mar
2017
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Economics for a finite planet

As part of our Green Capitalism project, one contributor, Benjamin, gives their take on the idea of 'steady state economics' - an ecological approach to economics where economies remain at a stable size instead of growing over time, and resource consumption is kept within ecological limits. Please note the views are the authors and do not represent Corporate Watch’s position.


24
Mar
2017
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Hyde Housing: strapped for cash or hungry for profit?

Hyde Housing has told residents it “can no longer afford” to run four community centres on estates in the London boroughs of Lambeth and Islington. In a statement, the housing association said its finances have been put under strain by government reforms and that the main priority must be “building new homes to help address the housing crisis”. Local residents and groups that use the centres are campaigning against the moves, which will see the community spaces either knocked down or leased out to outside organisations to manage.


07
Mar
2017
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The Round-Up: rough sleeper immigration raids and charity collaboration

Homelessness outreach charities are helping Immigration Enforcement round up and deport London's migrant rough sleepers.


06
Jan
2017
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Deportation Charter Flights: Collective Expulsion in 2017

Titan Airways deportation plane photo by James Bridle

Profiling the UK's mass deportation charter flights and some of the companies that profit from them.