Report on Business Ethics and Global Management of Levi Strauss
By - Vishal Haryani
Levi Strauss is one of the world's largest brand-name clothes manufacturers and also one of the first international companies to adopt a corporate code of conduct to apply to all contractors who manufacture and finish its products two parts:
1. Business partner Terms of engagement
Levi Strauss's business partners must adhere to the following employment guidelines :
- Wages and benefits : Business partners must comply with any applicable law and the prevailing manufacturing and finishing industry practices.
- Working hours : Partners must respect local legal limits on working hours and preference will be given to those who operate less than a 60-hour working week. Employees should also have at least one day off per week.
- Child labor : Use of child labor is not permissible in any of the facilities of the business partner. Workers must not be below 15 years of age or below the compulsory school age.
- Disciplinary practices : Levi Strauss will not use business partners who use corporal punishment or other forms of physical or mental coercion.
- Prison / forced labor : No prison or forced labor is to be used by business partners nor will Levi Strauss use or buy materials from companies using prison or forced labor.
- Freedom of association : The rights of workers to join unions and to bargain collectively must be respected.
- Discrimination : While respecting cultural differences, Levi Strauss believes workers should be employed on the basis of their ability to do their job.
- Health and safety : Levi Strauss undertakes to use business partners who provide a safe and healthy working environment and, where appropriate residential facilities.
2. Country assessment guidelines
It was an adverse country assessment that caused Levi Strauss to cease its engagement in China in the early 1990s, largely on human rights grounds, a decision that has subsequently been reversed. The company assesses whether :
- The Brand image will be adversely affected by the perception or image of a country among customers.
- Health and safety of employees & their families will be exposed to unreasonable risk.
- The Human rights environment prevents the company from conducting business activities in a manner consistent with the global guidelines and other company policies;-The Legal system prevents the company from adequately protecting trademarks, investments or other commercial interests
- The political, economic and social environment protects the company's commercial interests and brand corporate image. Levi Strauss is an example of the company that successfully combines doing business & following ethical practices. As we see, the company code of ethics demonstrates that Levi Strauss complies with the most labor norms and environmental standards; at the same time such actions of the company do not have any negative impact upon its business.