Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs

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Chair

Laura Chapman Rubbo
Director, International Labor Standards
The Walt Disney Company

Vice Chair

Tam Robert Nguyen
Global Head of Sustainability
Bechtel Corporation

Vice Chair

David N. Barnes
Vice President, Global Workforce Policy
IBM Corporation

Staff

Gabriella Rigg Herzog
Vice President, Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs
212-703-5056 or at gherzog@uscib.org

Elizabeth Kim
Policy and Program Assistant
212-703-5095 or at ekim@uscib.org

What’s at Stake for Business

As supply chains diversified globally, national regulatory frameworks in sourcing countries have not kept pace with the growth of their productive sectors. This has led companies to develop robust private social compliance regimes to fill existing governance gaps to ensure for respect of labor and human rights norms in their supply chains.

Complex supply chains also pose a risk of forced labor and human trafficking. Policy frameworks must help companies mitigate risk while also spurring governments to better enforce their labor laws. Unlike in the U.S., labor laws in most other countries are largely based on international labor standards. These labor laws have a direct impact on the labor and employment policies within companies.

As governments, markets and other stakeholders drive a constant stream of standard-setting on corporate conduct, the USCIB Corporate Responsibility & Labor Affairs Committee helps members manage risks by keeping them informed of emerging regulatory and civil society expectations and by channeling member feedback into standard-setting processes at international organizations.

With the advent of the consensus around the three pillars of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which we helped shape and which we endorse, we work to ensure that regulatory approaches remain consistent with the established consensus on the balance between the State duty to protect and the corporate responsibility to respect human rights.

 

Who We Are

USCIB advances the global interests of American business with policy makers worldwide. Its members include top U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world.

The Corporate Responsibility & Labor Affairs Committee is a leading business voice in global policy arenas and works with the U.S. Administration on all areas of responsible business conduct. Leveraging USCIB’s exclusive access to a global business network consisting of the International Organization of Employers (IOE), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD (BIAC), the Committee works by consensus to promote the contributions of business to human welfare and to drive pragmatic approaches to responsible business conduct.

The Committee is composed of corporate social responsibility (CSR), sustainability, government affairs, human resources and labor relations professionals from USCIB member companies representing all major business sectors (ICT, consumer goods, retail, manufacturing, extractives, utilities, entertainment/media and others).

Mission

As markets and institutions continue to drive responsible business policies, standards, and external guidelines, the mission of the Committee is to help its membership manage potential regulatory risks and promote American business leadership in global policy debates, including by:

  • Leveraging its international networks to assess the impacts and implications of global issues and policies and provide early insights on human rights, labor standards, employment policies, global sustainability and corporate governance.
  • Engaging directly with the U.S. Administration and international organizations, including the United Nations, International Labor Organization (ILO), and Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD), among others, to promote its members’ consensus views on the development and implementation of responsible business policies and regulations, international labor standards, civil society initiatives, as well as macro-economic labor market policies.
  • Increasing awareness of the sustainability contributions made by U.S. businesses through research and engagement with stakeholders in public fora.

Advocacy Priorities in the U.S. & Globally

Human Rights & Labor Standards 

  • Engage the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Human Rights Council on the effective implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights and to ensure that all government implementation efforts (including National Action Plans and proposed treaty instruments) uphold the “protect-respect-remedy” framework; ensure new regulatory efforts   do not confuse or undermine the consensus around the UNGPs and OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
  • Engage with OECD Member States, civil society and trade unions on all aspects of implementing the OECD’s responsible business conduct agenda pursuant to the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, including the development of new practical guidance in the extractive, agricultural, garment/textile and financial sectors and regarding conflict minerals.
  • Serve as the official U.S. Employer representative to the International Labor Organization (ILO) where we engage with official representation from governments and labor unions to ensure that U.S. business views are reflected in the development of international labor standards at both the ILO’s Governing Body and its annual International Labor Conference.
  • Engage with diverse stakeholders to encourage harmonization and pragmatism in corporate human rights and sustainability reporting initiatives, including rankings and ratings.

Global Labor Affairs 

  • Represent U.S. business views at the OECD’s Education, Labor and Social Affairs Committee, G20 and ILO and in other multilateral organizations on the development and implementation of labor market policies that advance employment, skills development, flexible and inclusive labor markets and women’s economic empowerment, and pragmatically address pressing global issues, including labor migration, the impact of technological innovation, youth employment and disability.
  • USCIB has played a key role in creating the Global Apprenticeship Network (GAN) to address youth unemployment and skills mismatches all over the world, as well as the Business Mechanism at the Global Forum on Migration and Development and the fair recruitment initiative at the International Organization of Migration – the IRIS program.
  • Work with the U.S. Administration and international organizations to support institutions in developing countries to modernize regulatory systems related to labor standards and human rights protections.
  • Advocate for policies that optimize and do not unfairly penalize companies’ efforts to mitigate the unforeseen risks related to forced labor, child labor and human trafficking, including by leveraging U.S. government funding and bilateral and multilateral aid and diplomatic efforts to ensure that other countries share the regulatory burden along with private compliance efforts.
  • Promote the inclusion of effective and non-protectionist labor provisions based on the effective enforcement of national labor laws and the ILO’s core labor principles.
  • Coordinate U.S. business financial support for the ILO-IFC Better Work Program and provide U.S. buyers’ views to the program’s Advisory Committee.
  • Provided leadership in the drafting of the ILO Protocol to the Forced Labor Convention (2014), the Recommendation on the Transition from Informal to Formal Economies (2014) and in the 2016 International Labor Conference discussion on “decent work in global supply chains” that will set the ILO’s future work in this area.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development & Sustainable Development Goals 

  • Advocate for the inclusion of the business community in the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the global, national and local levels and promote USCIB members’ contributions to the fulfilment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through advocacy platforms, such as Business for 2030, and leveraging exposure through leading conferences and events around UN policy meetings.
  • Provide input into the development of official SDG indicators for tracking progress and maintain a strong business voice in the ongoing elaboration of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation, the Technology Facilitation Mechanism and follow-up to the Financing for Development

Washington, D.C.

USCIB convenes regularly with U.S. government officials to ensure that the U.S. business position is reflected in U.S. policy engagement in multilateral institutions. It does this through coordinating with the Department of Labor, Department of State, US Trade Representative, Department of Commerce, USAID and other executive agencies, including Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), Immigration, Customs and Enforcement. In addition, USCIB is either an official stakeholder and/or its policy staff has played a key role in representing US business views in the following initiatives and advisory committees related to its policy agenda:

  • the President’s Committee on the ILO and the Tripartite Advisory Panel on International Labor Standards (TAPILS), which ensures that all ILO conventions being considered for U.S. ratification conform to U.S. law and practice.
  • the National Advisory Committee for Labor Provisions in U.S. Free Trade Agreements, which provides business views on trade agreement negotiations related to labor issues.
  • the Stakeholder Advisory Board (SAB) to the U.S. National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines (the Economic Bureau of the State Department), providing the business perspective on the NCP’s promotion of the Guidelines and review of its procedures for handling “specific instance” complaints against companies.
  • the State Department and National Security Council-led U.S. National Action Plan on Responsible Business Conduct.
  • the Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on Public-Private Partnerships, including its SDG subcommittee.
  • the Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee (COAC), which provides recommendations to CBP as it seeks to implement the 2015 Customs and Trade Facilitation Act and its elimination of the “consumptive demand” exception to the ban on importing goods made in whole or in part with forced labor or indentured child labor in the 1930 US Tariff Act.
  • the Initiative to Promote Fundamental Labour Rights and Practices in Myanmar, a multi-stakeholder effort led by the United State Trade Representative to upgrade social protection in Myanmar.

Upcoming Events

News Stories

B20-L20 Delivers Joint Statement to G20 Labor Ministers (5/22/2017) - The B20 and L20 presented their Joint Statement at a G20 Labor Ministers dinner on May 17, 2017 in Bad Neuenahr, Germany which was attended by USCIB's Senior Counsel Ronnie Goldberg.
Countdown to UN High-Level Political Forum: Ending Hunger, SDG 2 (5/22/2017) - This year’s United Nations High-Level Political Forum (UN HLPF) on sustainable development will be held from July 10-17 under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council.

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Press Releases

USCIB Statement on the U.S. Election Results (11/9/2016) - USCIB congratulated Donald Trump on his election as president, saying a top priority for the new administration should be a strategy for U.S. engagement with the wider world.
USCIB Welcomes Selection of Guterres as New UN Secretary General (10/7/2016) - USCIB applauded the selection of former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres as the next secretary general, succeeding Ban Ki-moon.

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Staff Contact:   Gabriella Rigg Herzog

Vice President, Corporate Responsibility and Labor Affairs
Tel: 212.703.5056

Gabriella Rigg Herzog leads USCIB policy and programs on corporate responsibility, international labor standards and corporate governance. She manages USCIB engagement with its affiliated organizations, U.S. government agencies, and United Nations agencies on international corporate responsibility principles, codes of conduct and multi-stakeholder initiatives, as well as international and transnational regulatory activities on labor and employment policies, sustainable development and corporate governance.
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