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July 2011 | Angeline Albert
uncovered 12,500 instances of poor working conditions at its approved suppliers
during audits last year.
included human rights violations and health and safety hazards, according to
the multinational’s 2010 citizenshipreport,
released this week.
expects suppliers to obey laws that require them to treat workers fairly,
provide a safe and healthy working environment, and protect environmental
quality,” said the report.
tackle the issue, it hosted a summit in Shanghai late last year that invited
sourcing quality and audit teams, suppliers, and government officials to share
experiences and discuss the challenges of ensuring better working conditions.
firm added that as of 15 February this year, its approved suppliers have
resolved more than 95 per cent of all such findings it had made since 2002. GE
requires suppliers to address all findings “in a reasonable period” and
monitors the progress made by the vendor in an automated database.
year, the conglomerate also identified “human rights champions” at each GE
business, to establish human rights risk assessment processes and report any
risks and plans.
rights concerns touch GE’s sphere of influence in many ways, whether they
involve issues with suppliers or the intersection of our water business with the
human right to that resource,” said the report.
2008, GE expanded its supplier review programme to encompass freedom of
association, discrimination and harassment in line with GE’s statement of
principles on human rights. The company also conducted a programme review and
is currently piloting programme refinements designed to encourage GE’s
suppliers to adopt their own management approach to ethical business issues.”