How Oxfam Has Worked With Unilever to Enhance its Social Impact
This case study is notable for how one of the UK’s foremost companies, Unilever, engaged with Oxfam’s request to conduct a ‘gap analysis’ between the company’s labour rights policies and the reality on the ground for workers. Following the research in Vietnam, for which the company provided unprecedented access to its staff and suppliers, Unilever adopted a Framework for Fair Compensation covering all of its direct employees globally and strengthened its sustainability plan and supply chain policies. A progress review in 2016 documented positive changes in policy and practices. Factors contributing to success included prior campaigns by unions and nongovernment organizations, Unilever’s openness to listen and learn, and Oxfam’s ‘critical friend’ style of engagement, which built on relationships of trust established over time and at multiple levels.
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