Labor Rights in Unilever’s Supply Chain

From compliance to good practice. An Oxfam study of labor issues in Unilever’s Viet Nam operations and supply chain

Publication date: 7 février 2013
Auteur: Rachel Wilshaw (Ethical Trade Manager, Oxfam GB), Liesbeth Unger (Viet Nam Technical Advisor), Do Quynh Chi (Viet Nam Study Research Lead), Pham Thu Thuy (Viet Nam Study Project Manager)

This new Oxfam report, based on research in Viet Nam, explores the reality on the ground in Unilever’s operations and wider supply chain, and compares the findings with the company's high-level policy commitments.

Unusually, the company co-operated fully with the study, providing access to its staff, operations, data and suppliers. This enabled Oxfam to assess the labor standards in the context of international standards and local conditions.

The study focused on issues which are important to workers but difficult for companies to measure and manage: Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining; a Living Wage; Working Hours and Contract Labor.

Key recommendations from the report

  1. Adjust policies and business model to deliver better quality jobs for workers
  2. Better align business processes with policy
  3. Strengthen the due diligence process to take account of people’s vulnerability to speak out
  4. Work with others to promote scalable ways to realize rights and increase collective leverage
  5. Integrate into the Sustainable Living Plan and/or public reporting process measurable targets for labor rights and job quality
  6. Share the findings of this report with managers, suppliers, the Viet Nam General Confederation of Labor and Cu Chi workers, and pilot in Viet Nam the changes recommended in this report