Dan Viederman's blog

Rethinking business: conversation at the World Economic Forum

Wed, 05/09/2012

Rethinking the Role of Business


Carlos Labarthe, Executive President and Co-Founder Compartamos
Daniel Viederman, CEO, Verite
Vineet Nayar, CEO, Vice Chairman and fulltime member of the Board of Directors of HCL Technologies
Brian A. Gallagher, President, United Way
David T. Seaton, Chairman and CEO of Fluor Corporation
Sun Mingbo, CEO, Tsingtao Brewery
Robert Greenhill, World Economic Forum

Session Summary
Rethinking the Role of Business

Will it be different this time?

Thu, 03/15/2012

copied from Reuters which was kind enough to publish this Op-Ed.

Every few years brings us another sweatshop offender. In the 1990s it was Disney, and then Nike and Gap. The 2000s brought us Wal-Mart. The past few weeks Apple has been in the crosshairs.

Good interview on NPR

Thu, 03/15/2012

You can't choose the titles, but this interview allowed me a chance to discuss the complexity of global supply chains, and the challenges of knowing whether a company is 'good' or 'bad.' I appreciate having the chance to talk at length about this complicated subject.

Thankful for life's little ironies

Tue, 11/22/2011

Today Slate reports a new and (finally) amusing chapter in Alabama's anti-immigrant efforts. Police arrested and sent to jail a German Mercedes-Benz executive because he didn't have his passport.

Where did the workers go?

Tue, 10/04/2011

The NY Times today describes 'quiet streets' in a small Alabama town in the aftermath of a State judge's ruling to uphold a stern anti-immigrant law. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/04/us/after-ruling-hispanics-flee-an-alab... Farmers complain that crops are rotting in the fields because there is no one left to pick them. During a time of economic uncertainty, Alabama's lawmakers have chosen to reduce their available labor pool and put local businesses at risk. Sounds like bad policy to me.


Sun, 09/25/2011

First Hershey's, now Amazon. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/24/us/24iht-currents24.html?_r=4
When companies hire temps, when they outsource hiring to others, they risk exploiting workers and harming their reputations. It's that simple.
Hershey's outsourced packing to a local business, which outsourced hiring to another business. Amazon appears to have done the same thing, coincidentally also in Pennsylvania. The solution is 'Fair Hiring.' We tell companies how in our Toolkit www.verite.org/helpwanted

Can a factory be a sweatshop, and getting better too?

Wed, 08/31/2011

This Guardian report leads with the awful news that a Chinese worker committed suicide. http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2011/aug/27/disney-factory-sweatshop-suici... The article -- built off allegations by a Hong Kong-based anti-sweatshop organization -- also contains more typical descriptions of a 'non-compliant' Chinese workplace. Wages are excessive, work is underpaid, safety is imperfect, and supervisors are abusive. Sad as it may sound, this profile is neither unusual nor the worst that we see.

How rights can lead to concrete and positive impacts for vulnerable people

Tue, 07/12/2011

a guest blog from the World Economic Forum in East Asia in June, originally posted at

By: Dan Viederman Executive Director of Verite*; Schwab Social Entrepreneur

Compassion made into policy

Mon, 06/20/2011

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) has issued new Guidance that to my eyes formally allows compassion in the enforcement of immigration laws. http://www.ice.gov/doclib/secure-communities/pdf/prosecutorial-discretio...
In an effort to prioritize use of ICE resources in alignment with national immigration priorities, and recognizing that 'the agency is confronted with more administrative violations than its resources can address,' ICE has given new guidance for the use of 'prosecutorial discretion.'

Verite's work with PMI - a good start, more to do.

Thu, 05/12/2011

On May 9 we and Philip Morris International released a report on Verite's assessment of labor conditions in tobacco growing in Kazakhstan, which was essentially a response to Human Rights Watch’s investigation of PMI there. We issued the following statement on why Verite undertook the work and what we expected out of it: http://www.verite.org/news/PMI_report_tobacco_kazakhstan

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