POTSDAM (dpa-AFX) – In the dispute over a supply chain law, Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) appealed to his cabinet colleague, Federal Economics Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU), to come to an agreement quickly. “I expect the federal government that we will get a supply chain law in this legislative period that also deserves the name,” said Heil on Tuesday in Potsdam. He made a statement at the start of a conference entitled “Global Supply Chains – Global Responsibility” in Potsdam. “We have been negotiating the key points of the law for weeks.”
In order to combat abuses such as child labor and starvation wages, the law is intended to oblige German companies to guarantee compliance with minimum social and ecological standards for foreign suppliers. On the other hand, there is massive criticism from the economy and Minister Altmaier fears that the burden will be too great.
Heil emphasized that small and medium-sized companies should not be affected. Rather, global companies with more than 500 employees should be obliged to guarantee compliance with minimum social and ecological standards for foreign suppliers. “The companies should investigate the risks of human rights violations, secondly take appropriate measures and thirdly report on them,” explained Heil. “If you don’t take care of it, you will be held liable for human rights violations.” Experience so far has shown that voluntary measures are not enough./kp/DP/stw