Multinational firms told to tackle ethical, social problems

A PROFESSOR of Management at San Jose State University, California, USA, Prof. Anne T. Lawrence, has advised multinational companies to pay critical attention to social, ethical and environmental issues arising in the global supply chain.

These issues include dangerous working conditions, discrimination, excessive overtime, low wages, the use of child and forced labour, pollution of air and waterways and the destruction of habitats.

She said companies failing to check such issues, risked losing huge sums of money in law suit against them in case of mishaps, as well as their loyal and prospective customers’ hard earned reputation and the natural resources on which their businesses depended.

Prof. Lawrence gave this advice when she delivered a public lecture on “Social, Ethical and Environmental responsibility in the Global Supply Chain” at the University of Cape Coast on Friday.

She cited cases in which legal action had been taken against some companies for voilation of standards in the course of their business and advised supply chain managers to properly monitor the activities of their suppliers and also build their capacity to avert such problems.

She said  the complexity of supply chain was making it difficult for some companies to take responsibility and added that in order to improve conditions in the industry, companies were joining with unions,  non governmental organisations in cross-sector coalition.

Professor John Nelson Boah, Provost of the College of Distance Education, UCC in a brief remark observed that multinational companies were selective in the resolution of ethical, social and environmental issues.

He said it was about time such companies respected all regions in which they operated as well as show dedication to their social, ethical and environmental responsibilities required of them.

From Jonathan Donkor, Cape Coast

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