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Unhappy Meal: €1 Billion in Tax Avoidance on the Menu at McDonald's

25 February 2015, Press releases

Unhappy Meal sqTax structure allowed McDonald’s to divert revenue for years, costing European countries over €1 billion in lost taxes between 2009 and 2013.

Today in Brussels, a coalition of European and American trade unions, joined by the anti-poverty campaign group War on Want, unveiled a report about McDonald’s deliberate avoidance of over €1 billion in corporate taxes in Europe over the five year period, 2009-2013. 

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Report Back: Has Capitalism Killed Fashion?

25 February 2015, Latest news

On Saturday 21 February, War on Want and Brick Lane debates held a day of workshops, debates, films, spoken word, DIY & craftivism, speed debating, & theatre around the question 'Has Capitalism Killed Fashion?' It was a remedy to London Fashion Week which was taking place around London

Click the title to hear more about what took place.

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The reality behind UNIQLO's corporate social responsibility promises

23 February 2015, Latest news

Excessive overtime, low pay, dangerous working conditions, punitive and oppressive management style.

In a new report SACOM reveals the sweatshop practices and labour rights violations belying UNIQLO’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) promises. UNIQLO is a rising superstar in the global fast fashion scene with 861 stores worldwide – including an increasing number in the UK. It is already Asia’s biggest apparel company and Forbes predicts it to pass H&M and Inditex to become the world’s largest clothing company.  Tadashi Yanai, the founder and CEO of Fast Retailing, of which UNIQLO is a subsidiary, was ranked as Japan’s wealthiest man by Forbes in 2013, with a net worth of USD 15.5 billion.

UNIQLO also has a high Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) profile with a Code of Conduct and CSR reports that give the impression of transparency, a careful selection of suppliers, limits on overtime work, a commitment to freedom of association and close monitoring of working conditions. However, undercover investigations by SACOM have found systematic and large-scale labour rights violations in two factories producing for UNIQLO, documented in a report that unveils a completely different reality, with workers producing UNIQLO clothes toiling under inhumane conditions.

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Storify: The #NoTTIP Train to Brussels

17 February 2015, Latest news

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EU trade commissioner presented with giant ears in TTIP stunt

16 February 2015, Press releases

EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström was today presented with a pair of giant ears by UK campaigners protesting against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

The presentation took place as Malmström addressed a public seminar on TTIP at Europe House, the European Commission headquarters in London.

Activists staged the stunt to highlight the European Commission’s failure to heed public opposition to the EU-US deal, which official estimates predict will lead to the loss of at least one million jobs.

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Tax Dodging Bill Campaign

26 January 2015, Latest news

logo yellowWar on Want has teamed up withover 15 other organisations to campaign for a new law, a Tax Dodging Bill, to help make tax fair.

War on Want has long put a spotlight on companies like Alliance Boots; which together dodge billions of pounds in tax every year.

These corporate parasites suck out profits and leave the rest of society paying the price wherever they operate. They won’t be stopped until the rules are changed. Empty rhetoric won’t do the job.

That’s why we’ve teamed up with over 15 other organisations and to call for a new law, a Tax Dodging Bill, to help make tax fair.

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Government propaganda defence on TTIP

15 January 2015, Press releases

War on Want has been handed four documents sent out by the government chief whip, Michael Gove MP, prior to today's parliamentary debate on TTIP, asking MPs to speak up against 'scaremongering' over the impacts of the secret EU-US deal. In reality, the concerns over TTIP are fully justified and - as we have shown before - the government's arguments are worthless. We attach here the documents as sent out yesterday by Michael Gove. The campaign against TTIP clearly has the government on the back foot, as they realise their attempts to hand over power to transnational corporations are being rejected by the UK public at every turn.


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EU condemned for ‘corporate courts’ in EU-US deal

13 January 2015, Press releases

European public rejects ISDS in EU consultation

The European Commission today faced condemnation for its decision to press ahead with a massive transfer of power to big business in the face of clear public opposition.

The assault comes as the EU reports the results of its public consultation on the inclusion of investor protection provisions, especially the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism, within the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

The Commission received a record 150,000 responses to the consultation, 99.62% from individuals and 52,008 from the UK.

In publishing the results of the consultation today, the EU admitted that the vast majority (over 97%) of respondents had opposed ISDS.

War on Want Executive Director, John Hilary, said: "The European Commission can no longer be in any doubt as to the strength of public feeling against this transfer of power to big business. Record numbers have said no to the prospect of corporate courts in Europe, yet the EU is still pressing ahead regardless. The TTIP negotiations should be abandoned rather than risk an end to our national democracy."

Hilary continued: "The UK government has a particular case to answer, in that it has led the group of 14 EU governments demanding to keep these new anti-democratic powers in TTIP. David Cameron and Vince Cable are selling us down the river, and they should be held to account."

The investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism within TTIP has been identified as a direct threat to democracy, as it would grant transnational corporations the power to sue individual countries directly for losses suffered in their jurisdictions as a result of public policy decisions.

Corporations would be granted the power to challenge democratic decisions made by sovereign states, and to claim compensation where those decisions have an adverse impact on their profits.

In today's report on the consultation, the European Commission accepts: "The collective submissions reflect a wide-spread opposition to investor-State dispute settlement (ISDS) in TTIP or in general."

The UK parliament will debate TTIP this coming Thursday, 15 January, in a backbench debate on the motion presented by Geraint Davies MP. 

Notes to editors

CONTACT: War on Want media officer Ruth Tanner (44) (0)20 7324 5053 or (+44) (0)7983 550728

The 140-page EU report on the ISDS consultation is available online here, with accompanying press release here.

War on Want’s submission to the European Commission’s consultation on investor protection in TTIP can be read here

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AGM 2015

06 January 2015, Upcoming events

War on Want is an amazing community of people who make change happen. Our strength as a movement is driven by the participation of our members – thousands of us acting together to fight the root causes of poverty.

War on Want's AGM and annual conference
12 noon – 6pm Saturday 21 March 2015
Methodist Central Hall, Oldham Street Manchester M1 1JQ

This year our Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held at 12 noon on Saturday 21 March at Methodist Central Hall, Oldham Street, Manchester, M1 1JQ. It is open to all members and affiliates to attend. Our AGM gives you the chance to hear first-hand reports about what has been achieved over the past year, ask questions and vote on any resolutions presented at the meeting. If you're not a member of War on Want you can join us today with a regular donation – click here to set up your membership – it takes just a few minutes.

By clicking on the links below you should find all the information you require about the business of the meeting.  However, should you have any questions or require a paper copy of these documents, then we would be happy to provide it – please call David Rudkin on 020 7324 5051.

War on Want AGM 2015 Timetable
  • Wednesday 25 February 2015 - Second notice of AGM distributed to members and affiliates
  • 12 noon, Thursday 19 March 2015 - Deadline for receipt of emergency resolutions
  • 12 noon, Friday 20 March 2015 - Deadline for receipt of ballot papers
  • 12 noon, Saturday 21 March 2015 - War on Want AGM, Methodist Central Hall, Oldham Street Manchester M1 1JQ


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TTIP: the fight is on for 2015

31 December 2014, Latest news

2015 is going to be a crunch year in the fight against TTIP, the EU-US treaty that threatens to undermine our democracy, our jobs and our public services. To prepare for the fight, here's a short presentation from War on Want's Executive Director, John Hilary, outlining the threat of TTIP at the recent seminar held in Stockholm, courtesy of our friends at the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. Happy New Year!


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Tags: campaigns | trade justice | TTIP


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An amazing year - thank you

24 December 2014, Latest news

It's been an incredible year, and I've been up and down the country talking with people like you, who have been really inspired to make a difference. I'd love to tell you about just some of the victories that you have been pivotal in achieving.

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Modern Slavery Bill - Tweet Day

10 December 2014, Latest news

Twitter logo blueOn Monday 8th of December, as the modern slavery bill passes through the House of Lords, War on Want and others took to twitter to push the Prime Minister to ensure the bill drives companies to tackle forced labour in their supply chains.

War on Want has been working with the CORE (Corporate Responsibility Coalition) to ensure that the modern slavery bill addresses the UK’s impact on modern slavery around the world as well as in the UK.


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One million no TTIP signatures and counting

09 December 2014, Press releases

Press release, Stop TTIP, Thursday 04/12/2014

 Self-organised European Citizens’ Initiative against US and Canada trade deals tops a million signatures in record time  

Media alert ***Photo stunt, Brussels*** Jean-Claude Juncker to receive a special birthday present for his 60th.

More than a million people across Europe have signed a self-organised European Citizens’ Initiative in the last two months opposing trade deals between the European Union and North America. The campaign, run by the Stop TTIP coalition, is supported by more than 320 civil society organisations, trade unions and consumer watchdogs from 24 EU Member States.

Campaigners say that the controversial trade deals, known as TTIP and CETA, would give unprecedented power to international corporations and thus threaten to overrule democracy, the rule of law as well as environmental and consumer protection. The treaties would allow governments to be sued by corporations before private arbitration boards if their laws or policies damage the company's profits.

John Hilary, a member of Stop TTIP’s Citizens’ Committee commented: “Stop TTIP has collected more than a million signatures in record time. This is especially embarrassing for the European Commission as it has tried repeatedly to block any citizens’ involvement in the way these treaties are being negotiated and what the outcome should be. Jean Claude Juncker should listen to the growing opposition and stop both treaties immediately.”

In mid-July, the Stop TTIP coalition had applied to register a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) demanding that the European Commission stop the negotiations on TTIP and not to conclude CETA. According to EU rules, an ECI of more than a million signatures can force the European Commission to review a policy and hold a hearing in the European Parliament. However, in early September the European Commission refused to register the ECI, claiming that it was not admissible. Stop TTIP then went ahead with a self-organised version of the ECI and is also challenging the European Commission’s decision in the European Court of Justice.

Susan George, a member of Stop TTIP’s Citizens’ Committee: “The European Union is desperately trying to stifle citizens’ involvement and prevent a critical debate from taking place about these trade deals. We don’t accept this. TTIP and CETA threaten democracy, labour rights, environmental standards and vital public services. Citizens want to have a say in this and they should! One million have already said “No, thanks!” How many more need to speak out before Brussels will listen?”

Stop TTIP announced it would intensify protests in the months to come. The signature collection will be continued and will be accompanied by creative actions and marches. The first of these will take place in Brussels on December 9th, the 60th birthday of Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

John Hilary added: “We will deliver a special gift to Jean-Claude Juncker on his 60th birthday: A giant birthday card signed by one million Europeans. Politicians are always calling for citizens to get actively involved in European politics, and here are more than a million people who have done just that. On his 60th birthday, Juncker should blow out the candles on these massively unpopular and undemocratic trade deals that are opposed by people across Europe. One million signatures is just the beginning. We will continue our protest until TTIP and CETA are history.”


We cordially invite you to a photo stunt on Jean-Claude Juncker’s 60th birthday on 9 December 2014, 11am. Location: in front of “Le Barlaymont”, Rue de la Loi 200, 1000 Bruxelles (Brussels). Activists will prepare a birthday surprise party for President Juncker and symbolically present him one million + X signatures against TTIP and CETA. There will also be time for interviews.

More information about the Stop TTIP campaign:

Reaction to the European Commission’s refusal of the proposed European Citizens’ Initiative:

Free photos from Stop TTIP protests can be found here:


Press Team Stop TTIP,, Tel.: +49 30 420 823 79 (Germany), Mobil: +49 178 816 3017 (Germany). Please get in touch for questions about the campaign and to be put in contact with interviewees in various EU Member States.

Susan George, President of the Board of the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam (TNI) and Honorary President of ATTAC-France, Tel: +33 1 4548 4801 (France)

John Hilary, Executive Director of War on Want, Tel: +44 7983 550727 (United Kingdom)

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Forced Labour in Supply Chains - Modern Slavery Bill

28 November 2014, Latest news

parliament (Parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of Parliament )

The International Labour Organisation estimates that globally 21 million people are subject to forced labour, trafficking and modern slavery which generates annual profits of $150 billion.

The government introduced the modern slavery bill to tackle this in the UK by clarifying the law, and creating a Modern Slavery Commissioner. War on Want has been working with the CORE (The Corporate Responsibility Coalition) to ensure that the modern slavery bill addresses the UK’s impact on modern slavery around the world as well as in the UK.

War on Want’s work with partner trade unions and workers’ groups around the world shows how many UK companies profit from the modern slavery that takes place in their supply chains. It is important that the bill tackles not just those committing the crimes, but also those profiting and creating the conditions for modern slavery.

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Stop the killing of South African shack dwellers

24 November 2014, Latest news

chicagoThis weekend hundreds of international supporters gathered in London, New York, Chicago and Budapest to demonstrate against the killing of housing activists in South Africa. During the past 18 months, three housing activists from the shack dweller movement Abahlali baseMjondolo, a long standing partner of the British anti-poverty charity War on Want, have been assassinated. To date not a single person has been held responsible for any of these deaths. In London, War on Want, together with the Abahlali baseMjondolo UK Collective, have initiated a series of solidarity actions, including a letter to the High Commissioner of South Africa ( that call for the right of people to engage in activism that is free of repression, a formal inquiry into the murders, and peaceful dialogue between housing activists and local, national and provincial authorities. The signed petition will be handed in at South Africa House in London, later this month.

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