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Fortune 50 companies back no-fee recruitment in supply chains

NEW YORK, NY: AUGUST 07, 2017. Ford, General Motors, Hormel Foods, Marriott Hotels and Michael Kors have agreed to promote ethical labor policies in their global supply chains including no-fee recruitment.

The International Labor Organization estimates at least 21 million people are trapped in conditions of modern slavery that generates over US$150 billion in annual profits for direct and third party employers in agriculture, apparel, construction, electronics and manufacturing.

Forced laborAccording to the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), whose 300 members have US$200 billion under management, migrant job seekers are charged high fees and forced to surrender their passports by labor brokers who then entrap them in bonded labor, a form of modern-day slavery.

An ICCR 'No Fees' initiative aims to drive the adoption of company policies that ensure employees never pay recruitment fees for jobs, have a clear written contract, and do not lose access to their identity documents.

Mary Beth Gallagher, from the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment who led the discussions with Ford and GM commented: "Multinational corporations can have tremendous influence on the issue by setting expectations through their vast supply chains, which is why these policies are so important. We applaud Ford, General Motors, Hormel, and others for their leadership in adopting the 'no fees' policy and strongly urge all companies to make similar pledges to make the recruitment process more just."

Head of the ICCR initiative Valentina Gurney added: "Brands are waking up to the fact that controlling labor recruitment at all levels of the supply chain is a corporate responsibility. With these new commitments, we see real momentum building and we congratulate these five companies for stepping out on this important issue."

Now in its 46th year, ICCR is a coalition of shareholder advocates who view the management of their investments as a catalyst for social change. Member organizations comprise faith communities, socially responsible asset managers, unions, pensions and NGOs.

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