From the Desk of Steve Rendle: We Each Have a Responsibility to Vote, and We All Need the Time to Do It
The following article was penned by Steve Rendle, VF’s Chairman, President and CEO
The strength of our democracy relies on citizens making their voices heard on Election Day. However, there are far too many barriers that still prevent voters from accessing the ballot box.
As much as 36 percent of eligible voters did not participate in the last midterm elections held in 2014 because of difficulty in taking time off from work or school. The business community, including VF Corporation, is stepping up to limit conflicts between working and voting by giving our employees paid time off to vote.
At VF, we believe strong democratic processes improve lives. We also believe that no employee should have to choose between a paycheck and exercising their constitutional right to vote. In that spirit, we are continuing to lead with our guiding principles and doing our part to take on the problem of low voter turnout by joining the Time to Vote campaign, a non-partisan, business-led initiative designed to demonstrate the importance of voter participation and to increase voter turnout.
In support of the campaign’s goal and to encourage VF associates to participate in local, state and federal elections, VF has pledged to provide our employees in North Carolina and around the country with up to three hours of paid leave to use for voting on Election Day or to participate in early voting.
Regardless of political leaning, we can all agree on how important and pivotal local, congressional and gubernatorial elections can be on a variety of issues that impact everyone from employees and business owners to the consumers that purchase their products. We can also agree that we have a responsibility to make the process easier for eligible voters, not harder.
We’re committed to ensuring our employees have the time and opportunity to exercise their civic responsibility to vote. And we’re calling on other businesses around the country to make similar commitments to their employees, so everyone can have their voices represented this November.
One of VF’s guiding principles is to “persevere.” In local communities, states and across the country, our democracy will only persevere if it includes representation from all. Elections impact everyone and voting is the best way to raise our hands, be counted and work to make things better tomorrow than they are today. Let’s join together to make time to vote.