OSHA proposes $236K in safety fines for Forever 21
New York — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited fashion retail chain Forever 21 for exposing employees to safety hazards at its stores in Paramus, N.J., and Manhattan. OSHA inspected both stores in July after receiving complaints alleging violations and proposed $236,500 in penalties.
Inspectors cited the company for four repeat violations at the Paramus store, including obstructed exit routes; a fire extinguisher that was not mounted and readily accessible; stored material that was not secured against sliding or collapse; and fluorescent lights that had no cover to prevent accidental contact or breakage.
Inspectors issued citations for two repeat violations to the Manhattan store, including obstructed exit routes and fluorescent lights with no covers. A serious citation was also issued because the store was not kept clean and orderly.
“It is unacceptable for Forever 21 to continue repeating these violations, which are common among retailers, and put workers at serious risk,” said Robert Kulick, OSHA’s regional administrator in New York. “Retail managers have a legal responsibility to inspect their stores, identify potential hazards and quickly eliminate them to ensure worker safety and health.
Report: U.N. seeks inquiry into deaths of striking Cambodian factory workers
Phnom Penh, Cambodia – The United Nations reportedly wants the Cambodian government to investigate the use of force against striking garment factory workers in the country’s capital city of Phnom Penh on Jan. 3. According to Reuters, police opened fire on workers striking over their pay, wounding 20 and killing five.
In addition, 23 striking workers were detained and their whereabouts remain unaccounted for. The Cambodian police say three people were killed and they are sorry for the incident.
In an open letter dated Jan. 7, international apparel and retail brands including Adidas, Gap, H&M, Inditex, Puma, Levi Strauss and Columbia Sportswear expressed deep concern and an opposition to all forms of violence. The U.N. also released a statement on the matter.
"We are following the situation in Cambodia with serious concern and are deeply alarmed by the disproportionate use of force by law enforcement officials in responding to demonstrations," U.N. spokesman Rupert Colville said in a statement dated Jan. 7. "We urge the Cambodian authorities to launch a prompt and thorough investigation and to ensure full accountability of members of security forces found to have used disproportionate and excessive force.”
Barnes & Noble appoints current president to CEO
New York – Barnes & Noble, Inc. has appointed president Michael P. Huseby to CEO. Immediately, in his role, Huseby will be responsible for all of the company’s business units including Barnes & Noble Retail, Barnes & Noble College and Nook Media.
He will report to the board of directors and has been elected to serve on the board. Huseby joined Barnes & Noble as CFO in March 2012, and was promoted to president in July 2013.
“Since the day he joined the company, Mike has proven to be an excellent financial and business executive, whose leadership skills have earned the respect of the entire organization, as well as our board of directors,” said Leonard Riggio, chairman, Barnes & Noble, Inc. “Although a relative newcomer to the retail book business, he has quickly developed a comprehensive understanding of the unique opportunities and challenges the Company faces, and he has a vision for the future in which I am in complete accord. Mike also has a passion for bookselling, which makes him a perfect fit for this job.”