Blog: October 2011

A Sweet Day

These men accepted the petitions on behalf of the CEO, saying they would pass them on.  We were unfortunately not able to engage with anyone at Hershey about the demands of the campaign, yet this was still an important step.  In addition to the stack of petitions we delivered to the CEO, we also sent a copy of the petitions to all of  of the members of Hershey’s board.  If the board members were not aware of the concerns of their customers before, they are now!

The U.S. – Colombia FTA: a bad deal for workers and labor rights

In April of 2011, the U.S. and Colombian governments announced the signing of the “Labor Action Plan,” in an effort to address concerns about impunity for labor rights violations in Colombia.   While far from a comprehensive reform plan, the Action Plan did create benchmarks in key areas, including hiring additional labor inspectors, enhanced protections for union leaders facing death threats, and closing gaps in Colombian laws that allow employers to use “labor cooperatives” to avoid the legal responsibilities of a direct employment relationship.  

The Hershey Company is a Master of Philanthropy, but Not Accountability

Mars, Cadbury and Nestle all took this message to heart and have been rolling out significant programs to invite third party monitors and certifiers onto their farms to check for child labor.  The most sustainable of these certification programs is Fairtrade’s holistic approach, which not only checks for child workers, but also works with farmers on securing a better price for their product and developing self-sustaining, democratic structures that can engender cross-farm support and create a ripple effect of farmers who now say “No!” to using child labor.

Department of Labor Releases New Reports on Child Labor

  • The List of Products Produced by Forced or Indentured Child Labor pursuant to Executive Order 13126 of 1999, which serves as a recommendation to federal procurement officers and policy makers, now identifies 29 products from 21 countries to be concerned about, and has proposed two new products and two new countries of concern. Read the full list here:

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    As organizations concerned with the rights of workers in global supply chains, MSN and PODER have paid close attention to efforts to rate companies on their supply chain labour practices. Can CSR ratings help improve labour practices in global supply chains? is our contribution to the debate on the role, value and effectiveness of rating systems. 

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