Saturday, March 2, 2013

Empowering Workers Everywhere

Fair labor. Worldwide. That’s what Verité proposes. Verité ensures better labor conditions for workers everywhere. 

According to the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship who cites the United Nations, “more than 450 million people are low-wage agricultural workers, 165 million children work, 12 million people are slaves and 105 million people cross borders each year in search of work. Labour brokers exploit at least 10% of these people as modern day slaves.” That’s the awful news. But Verité is working with companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Levi Strauss & Co., New Balance Athletic Shoe company, Eileen Fisher, and Gap, just to name a few, to eradicate the really big issues: human trafficking, child labor, slavery, systemic discrimination against women, dangerous working conditions, and unpaid work. According to Verité’s website, the non-profit founded in 1996 in the USA does this by “working directly with individual companies within their areas of influence. In other cases we develop and promulgate standards of performance and promote their adoption to change whole industries, and improve common business processes like procurement and hiring.”

The Schwab Foundation provides more details: “Verité ensures that workers’ voices are represented in business decision-making, by working with multinationals and their vendors and licensees. The organization has innovated ways of improving working conditions at the bottom of supply chains, where raw materials are grown and harvested. Verité also created a new use for mobile technology that provides workers with an outlet for their grievances and information for their benefit.”

In this manner, to date Verité “has improved the labour conditions of 8-10 million vulnerable workers through higher wages, better safety regulations, union membership, compensation for past wages and the elimination of exploitative brokerage relationships.”

Verité says its mission is “to ensure that people around the world work under safe, fair, and legal conditions.” Help them pursue their tremendous work by making a donation “to enable us to empower vulnerable workers around the world.”  Click here to get involved.