Levi Strauss, the huge garment manufacturer, faced a dilemma regarding two sewing subcontractors in Bangladesh who were using child labourers. International human rights activists were pressurising Levi Strauss to stop allowing contractors to use underage workers. But company investigators revealed that if the children lost their jobs, they would be impoverished and maybe driven into prostitution. Should the company fire them, in a principled stand against child labour? Or keep them on, to protect them from a worse fate?
The creative solution-neither. Levi Strauss decided to keep the children on the payroll while they went to school full time. And then, when they reached 14- the local age of maturity- hire them back.
That innovative response offers a model of creative thinking for MNCs seeking to be socially responsible. Coming to such an original resolution demands entertaining ideas that may seem too radical or risky at first glance, yet having the courage to pursue them anyway.
From- Working with EI