This paper is concerned with global labour governance and with the position taken by UK based multinational corporations with regard to labour standards in the management of their supply chains, both in the UK and internationally. Organisations may have multiple and varied reasons for their public statements on corporate behaviour, we ask what the largest and most reputable of UK organisations pledge in their public statements about the ways in which they manage across international and corporate boundaries. We address the following questions. What are the claimed objectives for MNC’s in considering management across international boundaries, including management of their supply chains? How do they frame those objectives in public documentation? This paper reports on the first phase of our work, based on documentary research. We have reviewed the annual reports of 20 UK plc’s – multinationals with extensive overseas supply chains and considerable purchasing power and influence. Power asymmetries are inherent in the relations between MNEs and suppliers or sub-contractors and we found that there is little evidence that corporate positions are implemented throughout the relevant supply chains. We found an absence of uniformity in approach (although a high proportion of our sample publically express nothing, or little, on the subject of labour standards). There is no strong evidence to show that fair trading standards in commercial relations with suppliers or contractors lead to clear labour standards for those employed in supply chain companies or with sub-contractors.