Thursday, May 9, 2013

3 myths of corporate-led social responsibility ~ @ciw

The three founding myths of corporate-led social responsibility (continued...)

Myth #3: Corporations can be trusted to unilaterally investigate, and to determine any appropriate corrective action, when their suppliers violate their workers'
human rights.
In the third and final installment of our series, "The Three Founding Myths of Corporate-Led Social Responsibility," we turn to the fundamental question: Who can be trusted to protect workers' rights in corporate supply chains?
Can the corporations themselves be expected to police their suppliers' operations and determine the appropriate actions in the event violations are found?
Or, to be effective, and therefore credible, must workers themselves have a voice in the protection of their own rights, in the investigation and resolution of complaints, in a partnership for responsibility with the corporations that benefit from their labor?
You will probably not be surprised to learn that Ahold and the CIW don't see eye to eye on the answer.

We got this...
Ahold's perspective on the question is clear, and is captured in this single sentence from its Statement on the Campaign for Fair Food:
"We commit to investigate any report thoroughly and promptly and to take appropriate action, if warranted." read more
Efficiently packed into those sixteen words are three huge, paradigm-defining assumptions:
  • Ahold should -- and can -- investigate abuses in its supply chain
  • Ahold should define what constitutes appropriate action in response to a finding of abuse
  • Ahold should decide when action is warranted
One small sentence for the public relations department. One giant leap -- backward -- from the real protection of human rights for workers who pick the produce sold in Ahold's thousands of supermarkets across the globe...
For more on this final, powerful counterpoint to Ahold's myths about corporate-led social responsibility, head over to the CIW website!

Coalition of Immokalee Workers • PO Box 603, Immokalee, FL 34143 • (239) 657-8311 •

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