Here you will find links to pages that address our broad categories of concern in an issue-based format. Also, be sure to check back for regular updates and features.
Worker's Rights Abuses
Millions of workers around the world still exist under inhumane working conditions. In the new global economy, corporations from developed countries are more frequently moving their production to developing countries, where they can take advantage of cheap labor and sweatshop conditions. Workers endure extremely long hours in labor intensive jobs with low wages and often unsanitary, unsafe conditions. In many countries there is little or no labor law enforcement, and many workers are prevented from joining unions to advance their own interests. Also, trade agreements exist in many countries which deregulate labor practices and allow corporations to dictate how they treat their employees based on profit as opposed to human rights standards.
Even more alarming, an estimated 250 million children between the ages of 5 and 14 are working around the world. Unable to go to school, these children face little hope of escaping poverty in their future. Advocating for Worker's Rights is essential to ensuring worker's protection, strengthening worker's voice, and ending abuses that violate people's rights and dignity. KnowMore.Org believes that without standards for workers everywhere, the security and freedom of workers anywhere is at risk.
Also highlighted in this section will be issues of due & equal rights/compensation for all employees, adequate and equal health care, job safety, and the ability of Worker's to form unions or labor organizations if they should so desire.
Human Rights Abuse
"Human rights abuses, once committed primarily by repressive governments, are increasingly carried out in the corporate interest." -Corpwatch.org
While there is a bit of overlap between Worker's and Human Rights issues (after all, Workers Rights Issues are Human Rights Issues), this category is meant to represent those Human Rights Issues which do not fall under the Worker's Rights umbrella.
Human rights are specifically addressing people affected by the company, while Workers Rights are specifically adressing people who work for the company.
For example, companies continuing to do business in Burma are supporting a Human Rights crisis; as are companies that traffic in African "Blood Diamonds". From Nestle's Marketing practices leading to infant death in the third world to Bayer's involvement with the holocaust, Human Rights have often fallen victim to the will of mega-corporations.
Corporations are perhaps best known for their negative impact on the environment. Whether through the form of air and water pollution, or through razing rain forests for new materials - corporations are threatening our planet's very ability to survive.
In April 2002, BP/Amoco CEO Lord John Browne announced that BP was voluntarily ending all contributions to political candidates around the world. "We must be particularly careful about the political process--not because it is unimportant--quite the reverse--but because the legitimacy of that process is crucial both for society and for us as a company working in that society," Browne announced. "That's why we've decided, as a global policy, that from now on we will make no political contributions from corporate funds anywhere in the world."
Is it possible to ban corporate money from politics? The United States already has. The 1907 Tillman Act, still on the books, says that it is "unlawful for any national bank, or any corporation...to make a contribution or expenditure in connection" with a federal election. Unfortunately, the act was full of loopholes, and corporations have found many ways around the Tillman Act over the years, including now-illegal soft money contributions to federal candidates, Political Action Committees (or PACS), and the bundling of individual donations from multiple employees and executives.
KnowMore.org believes that if citizens are ever to truly reclaim their Democracy, corporate money & influence must be totally removed from politics.
Business ethics refers to corrupt business practices - ranging from price-fixing, insider trading, bribery, false advertising, excessive compensation to CEOs, to willfully creating dangerous or defective products. Business Ethics also includes the ways company handle human resources (Worker Rights), endanger the lives of people and their communities (Human Rights), source their materials in ways that harm the environment (Environmental Impact), and pay lobby groups in order to get corporate-friendly laws passed (Political Influence).