Question 2 – what should global supply chain governance look like?
The requirements for any partnership between a top-tier firm and foreign suppliers should be: disclosure of all facilities in the companies’ supply chain; regular reporting of workers’ enjoyment of core labour standards at all facilities; a public commitment to exit the host country if state policy or practice irremediably violates core labour standards; and unfettered access to production facilities for independent rights monitors and journalists. In this way, the companies that work in ‘failing states’ could actively promote the protection of workers’ rights through negotiation and consultation with reputable international organisations on these matters.
Question 5 – what are the benefits and drawbacks of global supply chains as a 'model' for production and development?
There are many more plusses for businesses than for workers. First, the market becomes broader and more competitive for businesses. If a company does not like the price in one location, it can find another option elsewhere. Supply chains are also beneficial for many suppliers, as they open more options for the sale and distribution of goods. Nevertheless, the biggest minus is that, while searching for the cheapest goods, global companies ignore the problems related to the origin, manufacture and trade of products. Regardless of the fact that almost all companies declare their support for human rights, few of them demonstrate adequate due diligence to ensure decent working conditions and good pay for workers. As they are currently managed, global supply chains are opaque, making it hard to track and monitor working conditions throughout them, and therefore extremely hard to ensure that legal liability and human rights are respected throughout the whole chain.
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