quicklink, Science

Corporate Social Responsibility

Talk about Corporate Social Responsibility. Not that I don’t think big business often deserves a slap for it’s behavior in struggling economies, but when the opposite is true, it also deserves to be mentioned: Reuters reports that

“German auto makers with assembly plants in South Africa are spending “big money” on antiretroviral drugs, treatment and education to combat HIV/AIDS among their workforces. Car maker DaimlerChrysler South Africa spends approximately $420,000 each year to offer antiretroviral treatment to its HIV-positive employees, who make up an estimated 9% of the company’s total workforce. Mike Folan, human resources manager for DCSA, said, “We decided on giving antiretroviral drugs to our employees because of the government’s policy at the time. It (the government) wasn’t providing antiretroviral therapy.” An estimated 6% of Volkswagen South Africa’s employees are HIV-positive, and the company operates a program similar to DCSA’s with an annual budget of about $420,000. Gustav Meyer of the Department of Trade and Industry said, “Several of the motor vehicle assemblers in South Africa have indicated a willingness to increase the outreach of these programs. We are aiming to rollout the HIV/AIDS programs by the vehicle assemblers to the supplier base as well as the community. This will maximize the impact of efforts against HIV/AIDS” (Mutikani, Reuters, 1/22). “