Business Ethics

Fertilife is an American company doing business in the United States and Canada. They specialize in creating fertilizers that make plants grow faster and bigger than usual. Given the laws protecting the environment and citizens in the U.S. and Canada, the company is limited as to how inventive it can get with the process for creating the fertilizers. Given this situation, the company wants to expand its business into a country that has fewer regulations. They discover that there is currently a fertilizer plant in Mexico that is struggling financially. Fertilife representatives travel to Mexico and make a deal with the current owner of the plant. In that deal, the owner will be paid a modest sum for the plant, its current supplies and methods, but he asks that as part of the deal the company retain all of the current employees in their current positions and with their current benefits. Retaining the employees is not part of the written contract, but the company’s agents assure the owner that their word is sufficient. The owner agrees to the contract, and receives his modest payment.

For the first month the plant remains the same. However, Fertilife decided to bring some of its employees from the United States and Canada to do the managerial work. They demoted all of the Mexican employees in the managerial positions and put them to work with the rest of the employees. They also decided to make a few cut backs in what the lower-ranked employees would receive. For instance, the previous owner cared about all of his workers and provided drinks and ice for them to enjoy during their hard day of working at the plant. Fertilife decided they could no longer afford these luxuries. They also began a program where the lower-ranked Mexican employees would have to sleep in the plant in tiny quarters from Monday to Saturday and could only go back home on Sunday mornings and come back on Sunday nights. The food the lower-ranked Mexican employees were given was subpar, and their sleeping quarters were very small and damp. The American and Canadian employees, on the other hand, had many paid benefits, were allowed to travel home on a regular basis, and had a huge mansion where they got to sleep and were provided with the best food available. Additionally, the regulations in Mexico regarding waste disposal are very low in comparison to those of the United States and Canada. Fertilife is complying with the minimum requirements under Mexican law by throwing the substances into the river found behind the plant and running into a nearby town (which is much cheaper than other alternatives); however, the chemicals are killing the wild life inside the river, and the people in the nearby town (who have always used the river as their main water source) are getting massively sick after drinking the water from the river.

The Mexican lower ranked employees in the Fertilife plant are beginning to get sick and that is bringing additional global negative attention to the company. It seems that the company has begun some experimental fertilizing techniques that might be creating some health issues for the workers. Additionally, there have been allegations by the few Mexican female employees of the plant that one of the American managers has made disparaging remarks at them and has exhibited some inappropriate behavior. After they went up to top management at the plant nothing was done, and the American manager’s behavior only got worse. You are asked by the public relations department to come up with a plan on how to fix the image of the company and the situations with the worker.

Using the theoretical perspectives that you have learned in this course, along with some creative techniques that you come up with yourself, you must write a report with a plan of action for Fertilife that you think will improve the current situation. In your report, make sure to begin the analysis describing the problem, why it is a problem, and then go on to provide the solutions. (APA Format)


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