Chiquita - an Excruciating Dilemma between Life and Law Chiquita is a global company which has businesses in Colombia, South America. It faced an ethical dilemma between law and life, where by terrorists groups threatened the lives of its employees. Chiquita track record shows that it had been involved in social responsibility programs, for example, Better Banana Project. It also contributed enormously to the economy and gave jobs to remarkably many people. When Chiquita faced with the dilemma, it broke government law by paying the terrorists to protect their employees.
Chiquita thought that protecting lives of its employees had a greater bearing ethically. On the other hand, it went against global business ethics by breaking government law. It got fined immensely for its actions, which led to, closure of some of its businesses. Q1: The position I would take at the beginning of the case ethical dilemma is paying the terrorists the money to protect the company’s employees. The reason being that if I do not pay the terrorists the company’s employees would be killed. This will result to the loss of the company’s workforce and, their families will suffer because of the death of their members.
My position after reading the case has changed in that I have realized it is illegal to pay and, fund terrorists according to U. S law. Q2: Chiquita has no justification in making the extortion payments protecting its employees because they went against the U. S government laws. I think the company was between a rock and a hard place because it got torn between protecting its employee’s lives and breaking the law. It would have followed the law and informed the authorities about the threats and killings since it is the work of the state to protect its citizens. Q3: when one starts a company in any country, it is their duty to follow the laws of that country.
This is despite the situation they face while undertaking their ventures. It is also the duty of the country to protect the businesses against terrorists. This is the reason that Chiquita got fined for its actions. Q4: According to CEO Aguirre’s statement, I think that he is sincere. The reason being that he released the statement in public explaining that he faced a dilemma between law and life.
He explained that the actions that the company took were merely to protect its workers indicating that it had many employees globally. The company did not want to put the lives of these employees in jeopardy. Q5: Chiquita board of directors handled this case skillfully. The decision they made to inform Department of Justice was appropriate, in that, if they did not inform it, the payments would continue and, therefore, breaking of the law by the company.
I think selling the farms in Colombia was not the best thing. By looking for alternative funds, the company should have gotten itself from the difficult situation. By selling the farms at a loss led to loss of employment for the same workers, it was protecting. Q6: The lawsuit by the former Northrop Grumman employees has a merit in that Chiquita paid AUC group this provoked the FARC rebel groups which was at odds with AUC causing the employees to be held hostage as a result of Chiquita actions.
This lawsuit enlightens about following the stipulated law of the country, where one is operating a business so as not to bring up contrast of interest and unbearable consequences. Q7: The real Chiquita is the company that collaborates with partners, such as, Rainforest Alliance to come up with better projects like the Better Banana Project. It also keeps its stakeholders informed and pleased by issuing social accountability reports. This is because the company came out publicly and faced embarrassment about its illegal dealings. It explained it did it because it faced a dilemma.
The company was also willing to pay the fee which lead to loss of capital and closure of one of its businesses. Works cited Chryssides, George D., and Kaler H. John. An introduction to business ethics. Cengage Learning EMEA. 1993. Reprint