NIKE, REEBOK, ADIDAS, NEW BALANCE In The News -
posted by David Boje last revision July 1, 2001
FOR IN THE NEWS main site (has Animal rights, biotech, frankenfood, WTO/G-8, and more).
Nike, Reebok, Adidas, & new Balance Stock Market Page
The purpose of this section is to allow you the reader to trace the chronology of Logo Corporations, Activist, Reporter, and Academic storytelling and counter-story moves in the Athletic Apparel Industry Spectacle. You can see the storytelling strategies of the players in what I call the Storytelling Organization Game (press here). For more on the players in this industry (press here) including major studies done and Nike's claims and counterclaims.
World 1 Archive of Nike Labor News.
NEW Article by Diamond Jan 2005 on Subcontracting by Nike and Wal-Mart
ACTIVISTS PROTEST AT ANNUAL SHAREHOLDER MEETING
TO PRESS? PENSION FUND TO INVEST RESPONSIBLY AND IMPROVE CORPORATE GOVERNANCE
"Out of the Bad and into the Good" - Monday, December 15, 8:30-11 a.m. Annual Shareholder meeting of? TIAA-CREF. A call for the $300 billion pension giant to invest in positive ventures (like low-income housing); divest Unocal, Nike, Wal-Mart, BP, Costco, and Philip-Morris/Altria; and boycott World Bank bonds. Outside of TIAA-CREFheadquarters in New York City; 730 Third Ave. (between 45th and 46th streets). TIAA-CREF pension system participants can call to receive an admission pass to attend or speak up inside the meeting (800-842-2733, 212-490-9000). During the week before the meeting, TIAA-CREF participants and others please call CEO Herbert Allison at the same phone numbers and note the above issues. For information, see? www.maketiaa-crefethical.org ; 260-982-5346 NJWollman@manchester.edu
LATEST NEWS: Foot Fault - The media portrayed Nike's recent out-of-court settlement in a
sweatshop case as a victory for human rights and a defeat for free speech. They got it wrong. By Peter Dreier and Richard AppelbaumWeb Exclusive: 9.23.03 - Phil Knight, Nike's founder and CEO, just lost a major court battle over his company's allegedly misleading ads about conditions in its overseas factories. Then Nike agreed to pay a $1.5 million settlement to what the media called a "worker rights" group that monitors sweatshops. So how did Knight and Nike escape more or less unscathed from the entire episode? More ...
May 4 2002- PLEASE HELP - Now Nike is being defended by the ACLU. Please sign this letter - FREE SPEECH for NIKE WORKERS We support the decision by the Supreme Court that says Nike cannot make false advertising claims about how they treat workers in their 900 factories.
July 1, 2001- "Five years after it was exposed as an unethical corporation, Nike is still exploiting sweatshop labor, still paying Indonesian workers a few nickels an hour while rewarding its PR celebrities with millions. After all the campus campaigns and culture jamming, kids all over the world still proudly flaunt the swoosh. In fact, Nike has grown so cocky of late that it’s starting to make fun of its critics" Latest Adbusters
1996 - Labor practices were reported as quite unsafe in 1996, for example, according to testimony by My Haryanto (press here). In 1999, he went on a speaking tour in the U.S. about conditions in the Sneaker industry in Indonesia.
My accident happened while the PT Lintas factory was producing for Adidas. After the accident, I learned that five other similar accidents had occurred with that same machine while the factory was producing for Adidas. The factory later switched to producing for Nike and, after that change, two other accidents of the same type happened on that same machine. In all of those accidents, the emergency switch did not work and, if it had worked, would have prevented all the accidents."
October 17, 1996 - See CBS News 48 Hours transcript, October 17,
1996. CBS News. (c) MCMXCVI, CBS, Inc. Transcript of Roberta Baskins
on site visit to Nike in Vietnam http://www.saigon.com/~nike/48hrfmt.htm
(need new link). See update at http://www.monitor.net/monitor/free3/cbsnike.html
CBS Ethics Controversy Over Nike
Deal by Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman
In 1998 Nike's sponsorship of CBS's Olympic coverage was rewarded when the correspondents delivered the news wearing jackets emblazoned with Nike's symbolic swoosh. The president of CBS News vehemently denied that this sponsorship had anything to do with the thwarting of a follow-up to a hard-hitting investigative piece on Nike for 48 Hours. The editor of The San Francisco Examiner likewise denied that Nike's cosponsorship of their big annual promotion was in any way related to the decision to kill a column by a reporter that was highly critical of Nike (Source: Deadly Persuasion:
Why Women and Girls Must Fight the Addictive Power of Advertising by Jean Kilbourne + Free Press + November 1999) (press here)
SEE ALSO February 26, 1998 How CBS got Niked BY GREGORY BOYD BELL (press here). When correspondents doing advance stories on the Olympics for CBS News showed up on TV screens a couple of weeks ago, media watchers were shocked and appalled to see them wearing jackets emblazoned with the logo of the sports equipment manufacturer Nike.
Excellent overview article - "Overswooshed: Nike on the ropes" By DON HAZEN May, 1998 Progressive Populist (press here).
1997 - Nike's CEO, Philip Knight, was paid $2.1 million in 1997. He owns more than $5 billion worth of Nike stock.March 27, 1997 Vietnamese/American businessman Thuyen Nguyen, goes to Vietnam to check out Nike factories to see for himself if there are "unsafe conditions." --- "I discovered that the labor conditions in Nike shoe factories are worse than I had expected. Nike has a good Code of Conduct, but Nike cannot control its contractors under the current system of monitoring. Nike contractors are exploiting workers in terms of wages and working conditions." (Press here) for report from Campaign for Labor Rights newsletter.
April 14, 1997 - (PBS
News). LABORS' PAINS APRIL 14, 1997 TRANSCRIPT Today the President
announced an effort to reduce the use of sweatshops to manufacture
purchased by Americans. According to President Clinton, the agreement establishes, "a workplace code of conduct that companies will voluntarily adopt, and require their contractors to adopt, to dramatically improve the conditions under which goods are made.
April 24-28, 1997 April 24 (Jeff Manning, The Oregonian) - More than 10,000 workers at a Nike Inc. Sneaker factory I Tangerang, Indonesia, have returned to work after briefly walking off the job to protest wages; JAKARTA, April 26 (Associated Press) - - Officials ordered a factory that makes Nike shoes shut down Saturday after workers burned cars and ransacked its offices, saying the company wasn't paying them a $2.50 a day minimum wage; New York, April 28, 1997 1300 Nike workers in Vietnam went on strike refusing to yield to the company's intimidation. (Press here) for CLR newsletter.
May 2, 1997 - Nike workers strike! Mike Rhodes (press here) "On April 22 and then again on April 25, 10,000 workers went on strike at a Nike factory in Indonesia. During the same week, 1,300 workers went on strike at a Nike factory in Vietnam.
June 18, 1997 - Foolish Feature, (press here) "Nike 101: Do Labor Practices Matter?" by Jim Surowiecki.A recent study of developing countries pointed to something called the Nike effect. The authors of the study suggested that if you wanted to know which countries were on the verge ...
July 24, 1997 Vietnam, Nike & U.S. imperialism - (click here) for Workers World News Service that CNN Reprinted from the issue of Workers World newspaper.
July- September 1997 no. 51 "The walking ghosts of West Java PETER HANCOCK finds that women in a rural Nike factory are considerably worse off than those who work in other factories. In July last year, I began a project researching female factory workers in a rural area of West Java known as Banjaran." Peter Hancock is a researcher at the Centre for Development Studies, Edith Cowan University, Western Australia.
August, 1997 The NEW REPUBLIC Magazine August, 1997 THE YOUNG AND THE FECKLESS Stephen Glass For the past year, the Nike athletic wear company has been the object of intense scrutiny, thanks to reports of widespread labor abuse by its subcontractors in Asia. In Vietnam, 800 laborers walked off the job to protest what they said were poor working conditions; in Indonesia, thousands of workers ransacked their factory this spring, claiming Nike hadn't been paying the $2.50-a-day minimum wage. (Press here) for magazine article and CLR analysis.
October 3, 1997- by Irene Nřrlund Nordic Newsletter of Asian Studies. The story started in September 1996, when the Dutch campaign `Nike fair play', launched the year before, claimed that the Nike Corporation (hereafter referred to as Nike), was not abiding its own Code of Conduct in Indonesia. Nike's consumer affairs manager had stated earlier that the company had a factory monitoring system established by the public accounting firm Ernest & Young in order to bind the subcontractors to adhere to the highest standards of labour practices. 1 The Dutch campaign, however, carried out independent investigations which proved that the labour standards were not kept as claimed. The campaign spread several European countries, but had a special focus on Indonesia (press here). Also (here).
October 26, 1997 - Nike Supports Women in Its Ads but Not Its Factories, Groups Say By Steven Greenhouse New York Times. A coalition of women's groups has attacked Nike as hypocritical for its new television commercials that feature female athletes, asserting that something iswrong when the company calls for empowering American women but pays itslargely female overseas work force poorly. (Press here) for story and CLR site.
October 28, 1997 (press here) - Nike Sneakers! (or the men with the fat wallets) (This news article courtesy of Yahoo!) SACRAMENTO - (UPI) State Assemblywoman Dion Aroner has launched a public awareness campaign aimed at persuading the Nike Co. to stop what she says is the exploitation of women workers at Asian shoe factories. The Berkeley Democrat held a Capitol news conference today to call attention to the so-calledsweat shop issue, although she stopped short of calling for a boycott of Nike products.
November 8, 1997- Audit reveals problems at Vietnam Nike factory -Web posted at: 10:47 p.m. EST (0347 GMT) (press here) for CNN story page. NYT -"Workers at a Nike factory in Vietnam. An accounting firm says that employees are being exposed to carcinogens that exceed local legal standards by 177 times and that respiratory problems are common." (Press Here) for New York Times article, but need to obtain free password to enter.
November 9, 1997 - Nike Says Steps Are Being Taken Towards Improvements Audit Reveals Violations. By William McCall The Associated Press B E A V E R T O N, Ore., Nov. 9 — An audit has found a variety of unsafe working conditions at a Nike factory in Vietnam, although the athletic shoe manufacturer says it already has begun making improvements. (Press here) for ABC News story.
November 11, 1997 Oregonian Series on "Nike Tracks around the Globe: Nike steps into political minefield" By Jeff Manning (press here). Note: This is an excellent series of articles to get an overview of Nike and its subcontractors. "The company that once billed itself in an annual report as "U.S. foreign policy in action" moved most production out of South Korea after personal freedoms and wages there increased. Workers' pay, though still well below wages in U.S. factories, jumped more than 50 percent in the first three years after the government allowed labor movements to take hold." -- Workers stream toward the canteen for lunch at the Pou Chen Corp. plant in Dongguan, China. The factory makes Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Asics and other brands of shoes." Some excerpts from the series:
Huge subcontractors find they must dance the tune Nike calls - Suppliers are dependent on - and increasingly monitored by - the footwear and apparel giant By Jeff Manning of The Oregonian (press here). "Pou Chen, owned by Taiwanese entrepreneurDavid Tsai and his four brothers, probably has benefited more than any other Asian company from the explosion in demand for athletic shoes. The company employs more than 150,000 factory workers across Asia." ... The long marriage between Nike and its subcontractors entered a new era last year when Nike formed a team of labor monitors to check on working conditions in the factories. .. The company last spring cooperated with Vietnamese authorities in the arrest and later prosecution of a supervisor at a factory near Ho Chi Minh City. The woman was convicted of abuse charges after forcing 56 workers to run the perimeter of a factory until 12 fainted. She was sentenced to six months in jail... Frank Chang, a Pou Chen executive in Vietnam, went white with anger at the government when asked about the incident. "I'm upset," he said. "She was made an example of to all the foreigners."
November 19, 1997 - Congress Critical of Asian Workplaces - Nike Defends Labor Practices “We think the Nike labor record abroad is atrocious and Mr. Knight must begin to treat Third World workers, mostly women, with respect.” — U.S. Rep.Bernie Sanders,I-Vt. By Scott Sonner The Associated Press W A S H I N G T O N, Nov. 19 — Nike President Philip Knight defended his company's labor practices Wednesday in a letter to congressional critics of low wages and poor working conditions at Nike factories overseas. (Click here) for ABC News story.
January 5, 1998 - (Securities
and Exchange Commission) "...I am writing to express my
opposition to rule S7-25-97 (the stockholder gag rule). It is
outrageous to me, as an investor and stockholder, that efforts
to obtain information from the companies in which I hold
ownership should be limited by the SEC to protect these
companies from stockholder scrutiny. Is the SEC out to protect the
likes of Phillip Knight and Nike from bad publicity?
This is a disgusting manipulation of the regulatory process by corporations that
don't want the truth to come out, or that feel harassed because the questions stockholders ask are a source of embarrassment." (Similar Letter Dec 2, 1997; Similar letter Dec 4, 1997 on Nike and Disney; Similar letter Dec 11, 1997)
February 17, 1998 - by Dara O'Rourke - Comments on the Vietnam Section of the Tuck School Report: "Nike, Inc.: Survey of Vietnamese and Indonesian Domestic Expenditure Levels" (Press here) for report or call him at (415) 561-6567.
20 February, 1998 Focus On The Corporation (1998) "Goodbye, Roberta: The CBS-Nike Connection" 20 February (press here). In October 1996, Baskin broke the story of Nike's labor practices in Vietnam on CBS investigative program "48 Hours." Baskin traveled to Vietnam, talked with young women who make Nike shoes and heard tales of physical abuse, illegally low wages and long working hours. Earlier this month, CBS News reporters covering the Olympics appeared on screen wearing the CBS logo on the left side of their parkas, with the world-famous Nike logo on the right. Baskin hit the roof and on February 6, 1998 sent out a two- paged, single-spaced memo to executives throughout the CBS News hierarchy. "As far as I could remember, in my 20 years in television journalism, it was the first time a network news organization had allowed its correspondents to double as billboards," Baskin wrote. Baskin alleged that her boss, CBS News President Andrew Heyward, vetoed last July's scheduled rebroadcast and update of her "Nike in Vietnam" investigation.
See CBS News 48 Hours transcript, October 17, 1996. CBS News. (c)
MCMXCVI, CBS, Inc. Transcript of Roberta Baskins on site visit to Nike
in Vietnam http://www.saigon.com/~nike/48hrfmt.htm
February 26, 1998 How CBS got Niked BY GREGORY BOYD BELL (press here). When correspondents doing advance stories on the Olympics for CBS News showed up on TV screens a couple of weeks ago, media watchers were shocked and appalled to see them wearing jackets emblazoned with the logo of the sports equipment manufacturer Nike. The ensuing controversy raises questions about how far CBS is willing to whore itself for a major sponsor. It certainly proved that, when the rubber hits the road, journalistic ethics are a luxury that wannabe global players like CBS believe they cannot afford.
April 9, 1998 - Pakistan soccer ball industry seeks end to child labor April 9, 1998 Web posted at: 12:20 a.m. EDT (0420 GMT) From Reporter Kasra Naji (Press here) for CNN story.
April 10, 1998 - 'The Big One': Another Michael Moore Documentary On Plant Shutdowns -NY Times Review of Moore's movie, the Big One - A lively sparring match with Nike Corp. chairman Phil Knight doesn't culminate in a Nike shoe plant for Flint, which is what Moore asks for. But it does find these two adversaries speaking face to face, if not eye to eye, about the kinds of labor issues that don't often make it to the multiplex. So at least it's a start. (Press here) but you need to sign up for Free password to enter.
April 10, 1998 The East Timor Action Network, a grassroots U.S.
organization in solidarity with the people of East Timor (invaded by
the Indonesian military in 1975 and still occupied 23 years and
200,000 deaths later), has endorsed the April 18 Nike mobilization. (Press
here) for Campaign for Labor Rights Newsletter.
April 17, 1998 Protestors bring tales of Nike wrongs By
Mary Fan Arizona Daily Wildcat. Nike opponents
worldwide prepare for a mass-protest tomorrow, the UA's Students Against Sweatshops marched to university President Peter Likins' office yesterday bearing a bundle of cast-off Nike shoes. Press here.
April 18, 1998 Nike and East Timor. As well as protesting labor
exploitation, part of Stanford Ad-Hoc Committee on Nike's efforts
involve making the link from Stanford to the situation in Indonesia
and East Timor. Roughly 40% of Nike's shoes are made in Indonesia,
which means NIKE supports the Suharto dictatorship, which is
responsible for the genocide in East Timor. (Press
Here) for Campaign for Labor Rights Newsletter. Then do a Find
(ctrl-F) for "Timor."
April 21, 1998 Nike sued over its Asian factories With help from lawyers who beat Joe Camel, a "concerned citizen" goes after the sneaker giant, saying it misrepresents work conditions overseas By Jeff Manning of The Oregonian (press here). "San Francisco resident Marc Kaskey sued the sneaker giant Monday, claiming the company is violating state law by negligently misrepresenting the working conditions in the Asian factories where its shoes and apparel are made. Kaskey, whom his attorney described as "a concerned citizen," contends that contrary to Nike's claims, factory workers are exposed to corporal punishment, wage and hour violations, and dangerous chemicals.
May 13, 1998 - NIKE ANNOUNCES NEW INITIATIVE Nike critics
voice hopes and reservations Nike, whose Asian workers already enjoy
the highest standard of empty promises of any in the industry,
unveiled yet another initiative yesterday in a long-standing effort to
clean up its tarnished image. (press
here) for CLR newsletter.
May 20, 1998 - NIKE AND INDONESIA: Part 1: Sweatshops, economic
disaster and expression... What does Nike Say? According to a pamphlet
published by Nike, "When Nike enters a country to manufacture
products, wages increase and poverty decreases." (Press
here) for Campaign for Labor Rights Newsletter and their side of
May 21, 1998 - IN AMERICA / By BOB HERBERT Nike Blinks New York Times
Let's not be too quick to canonize Nike. Philip Knight, Nike's multibillionaire chairman and chief executive, managed to generate a lot of positive press last week when he announced that independent organizations would be allowed to inspect the overseas factories that make his company's products, that he would toughen the health and safety standards in the factories and that he would crack down on the use of child labor.(press here) for NY Times story and CLR site.
May 29, 1998 NIKE'S LABOR PRACTICES HAVE MOTIVATED A WAVE OF YOUTH ACTIVISM, BUT WHERE DO THESE CHILDREN GET THEIR IDEAS? BY DAWN MacKEEN Salon.com
November 5, 1998 -Report: Groups reach deal on curtailing
sweatshops November 5, 1998 Web posted at: 8:44 AM EST (1344
GMT) NEW YORK (AP) -- A handful of apparel manufacturers,
including Nike and Reebok, have agreed with human rights groups on a
pact intended to curb worker abuse and monitor overseas facilities
used by U.S. companies, The New York Times reported today. (Press
here) for CNN story.
August 8, 1998 paper posted on CLR site, written by Tim Glenn, a student at Cathedral Middle School in Portland, Oregon. 'Nike's Cheap Labor" (press here).
November 18, 1998 - "Nike Said to Just Do It - Brutally Labor Group Charges Harsh Conditions Persist" by Marc Selinger - The Washington Times p. B7-B8 (press here). Also (press here) by Marc SelingerThe Washington Times p. B7-B8. The famous Nike slogan "Just Do It" might include he words "Or Else" if Salvadoran garment worker Julia Esmeralda Pleites could rewrite it. Miss Pleites, 22, said through an interpreter that she endured brutal conditions making Nike shirts at a factory new San Salvador. (press here) for report on conditions in El Salvador plant. (press here) for witness testimony.
January 13, 2000 - (press here) In this cesspool, Nike doesn't walk on water By Steve Duin Columnist The Oregonian - If you were aiming to win friends and influence people in high school sports, you normally wouldn't employ a former crack dealer who was winged in a 1989 shootout with police.
January 22, 1999 ANALYSIS OF LATEST STATEMENT FROM NIKE by Trim Bissell, national coordinator, Campaign for Labor Rights "According to news reports, Nike Vice President Jozef Ha recently leveled various charges against the company's critics. Among other things, Ha accused (if the word "accused" can be used in this context) human rights advocates of supporting democracy for the people of Vietnam. Ha doesn't think that advocating democracyis appropriate." (Press Here) for CLR newsletter.
January 26, 1999 - UPDATE ON NIKE / VIETNAM SCANDAL On January 11, Nike Vice President Joseph Ha sent a letter to Cu Thi Hau, President of the state-run Vietnam General Confederation of Labor. (Press here) to see letter and critique in CLR Newsletter.
January 29, 1999 Nike letter to Vietnam reopens old wounds. Oregonian News story by Jeff Manning of the Jozef Ha Nike Letter. (Press Here).
January 29, 2000 -(press
here) Nike slams Vietnam labour critics - Nike slams Vietnam
labour critics By Jonathan Birchall in Hanoi A senior executive
with the American sportswear company Nike has accused some critics of
the company's labour practices in Vietnam of indirectly seeking to
overthrow Vietnam's communist government. BBC NEWS.
February 2, 1999 NIKE DUCKS RESPONSIBILITY - Nike has refused to take corrective actions to repair the damage resulting from a letter from Joseph Ha to the state-run Vietnam General Confederation of Labor... The effect of his
letter was immediate intimidation of VLW's sources of information in Vietnam,
making it virtually impossible now to monitor what is happening in Nike shoe
factories there. (press here) for CLR Newsletter and VLW statements. List VLW phone number to call for more info.
March 19, 1999 - Nike Press Release - Eitel said that Nike's decision to raise wages on April 1 was an outgrowth of research conducted by a team of graduate students and faculty from Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business, as well as input from a variety of corporate, non-governmental organization (NGO) and government data (view press release). Read NLC Activist response (press here).
March 25, 1999 NIKE, REEBOK COMPETE TO SET LABOR RIGHTS PACE News and analysis by Trim Bissell, national coordinator, Campaign for Labor Rights. Asks the question why are Nike and Reebok changing labor practices now (press here). More (press here).
April, 1999 - PC/Computing, April 1999 v12 i4 p93(1) Brainwash. (Nike and Reebok will give schools PCs in exchange for their souls)(Company Business and Marketing)(Column) John C. Dvorak. (press here) for Popular Computing article.
April 29, 1999 - Protests continue over Nike's labor practices -- Campuses across the country have witnessed sit-ins urging schools to reconsider contracts with Nike By Tricia Schwennesen Oregon Daily Emerald (press here).
May 15, 2000 (press
here) The other shoe drops By David L. Marcus -Conditions at Nike
factories overseas appeared to be getting better: The company had
raised wages and barred children from working at its plants. But it
wasn't enough for University of Oregon senior Agatha Schmaedick, who
visited a Nike factory while studying in Indonesia last year. She,
like hundreds of other college kids at Oregon, Brown, and the
University of Michigan, pushed her school to endorse the Worker Rights
Consortium, a labor-backed group that makes surprise visits to Third
World factories and demands "fair living wages." Then Phil
Knight, Nike's CEO, just did it. Unable to satisfy its critics, the
sneaker maker took its swoosh, and money, from the athletic fields. In
recent weeks, Nike has canceled contracts with Michigan's and Brown's
sports programs, and Knight personally rescinded a $30 million gift to
the University of Oregon, his alma mater. US News on line.
July 6, 1999 - Jakarta Post, July 6 Labor activist Dita released from prison TANGERANG (JP): Jailed labor activist Dita Indah Sari of the Democratic People's Party (PRD) left the women's penitentiary here on Monday after spending two years in prison. --" ...there is little evidence that Nike intends to undertake any proactive steps to support the right of freedom of association in its factories - in Indonesia or elsewhere. In recent months, Nike representatives refused repeated requests to call publicly for Dita Sari's release." (Press Here) for CLR Newsletter. (Press here) to read of another activist story -- "Sukaesih—who was fired from her US$1.20-a-day job gluing soles on Nike after a wildcat strike to protest working conditions and wages—survival means food to eat and a place to sleep."- Published in The Georgia Straight, Vancouver's News & Entertainment Weekly, Volume 31, Number 1556, October 16-23, Vancouver, B.C., Canada By Sarah Cox
September 2, 2000 (press here) Just protest it Groups to protest against Nike in Sydney - Associated Press --- SYDNEY, Australia — Consumer groups plan to protest against sportswear company Nike before the Sydney Games, accusing the company of breaching labor standards. FOX SPORTS.
September 4, 2000 - (press here) Olympic athletes urged to visit Nike factories SYDNEY, Australia (AP) — Olympic athletes were urged Monday to visit Nike factories in Indonesia that activists contend exploit workers. Activists renewed a campaign against the international sportswear giant, releasing a report that documents claims of intimidation and harassment of union workers and women in companies contracted to make Nike shoes in Indonesia. The Community Aid Abroad-Oxfam Australia report, based on interviews conducted with industrial union organizers in Indonesian factories, said workers were threatened with violence if they tried to join unions; that union members were fired for small mistakes and that women were intimidated into not applying for leave by being required to undergo humiliating medical examinations. Tim Connor, the author of the "NikeWatch'' report, said Nike was failing to protect workers rights in its contract factories in Indonesia. FOX SPORTS on line.
September 10, 1999 Stop East Timor Massacre! by Trim Bissell, national coordinator, Campaign for Labor Rights- Genocide in East Timor. "Nike and Gap sweatshops in Indonesia are part of the same military /economic policy which is manifesting itself in the East Timor bloodbath." (press here) to find it in the alert postings on East Timor.
September 30, 1999 - Nike Loses in Spain Supreme Court Rules for Small Sporting Goods Distributor By William McCall The Associated Press B E A V E R T O N, Ore., Sept. 30 Nike Can't Use Brand Name in Spain - (press here) The Spanish Supreme Court rules that Nike does not have rights to the company name in Spain. ABCNEWS.com :
October 4, 1999 - USA Today had an interesting article on "Nike's image problem. After global outcry, company makes some strides to improve" by Julie Schmit (October 4, 1999, Section B, p. 1).
October 8, 1999 Nike Reveals Sweatshops Discloses Factory Locations
for University Clothing The Associated Press B E A V E R T O
N, Ore., Oct. 8 (press
here). ABC News. "Beaverton-based Nike disclosed the factory
sites Thursday on its Web site listing addresses where shoes and
clothing are made for five universities: Arizona, Duke, Georgetown,
Michigan and North Carolina."
October 11, 1999 According to CLR, NIKE MAKES PARTIAL DISCLOSURE
After years of pressure, anti-sweatshop activists have wrested an
important if partial - concession from Nike. Nike has
posted on its web site the names and addresses of 41 factories in 11
countries where it produces apparel for five of the U.S. schools where
it has licensing agreements: Duke, Georgetown, the University of
Michigan, the University of North Carolina and the University of
Arizona. The factories assemble sweatshirts, T-shirts, shorts
and other apparel bearing the school names and logos.
Many hope and expect that Nike's move will prove to be a precedent. It should be noted that the 41 factories represent a small percentage of Nike's 541 production sites worldwide and that this development is a small step toward transparency in the $2.5 billion collegiate licensing industry, which in turn is but a fraction of the apparel industry. For details on the disclosure, see Nike's web site < click here>.
November 9, 1999 - Campaign for Labor Rights Report on Wages in Indonesia - Wages (Campaign for Labor Rights Web Site Press Here).
SURVEY FINDINGS: 1,939 of the 2,300 Nike shoe workers interviewed are earning between 250,000 and 300,000 Rupiah ($35-42) per month. Only ONE PERCENT of the workers surveyed is earning 400,000 or above!
Abusive behavior: SURVEY FINDINGS: 1,309 shoe workers (57 percent of those surveyed) reported seeing another worker being mistreated or yelled at.
Forced overtime: SURVEY FINDINGS: 818 complained about forced
November 11, 1999 - (press here) Nike offering students tours of third-world factories (11-11) 06:00 PST BEAVERTON, Ore. (AP) -- Nike is offering college activists a different kind of spring break -- one that would take them on an inspection tour of the sports shoe and apparel company's factories around the world.
November 12, 1999 -Anti-Sweatshop Group Calls Nike-Sponsored Inspection Tour a Sham CORPORATE WATCH - http://www.corpwatch.org/trac/nike/news/usas.html United Students Against Sweatshops Says Proposal Uses Pricewaterhouse [Coopers] to Set Up Whitewash Washington, DC: United Students Against Sweatshops reacted immediately today to the announcement by Nike that the sports apparel-maker will sponsor a student tour of its 41 factories that manufacture college-licensed apparel.
- Students at any university that has a licensing deal with Nike can apply by writing a one-page essay on ``why you are qualified to work as a monitor in the factories.'' ... Applicants must speak the language of the country whose factories they want to tour.
University of Oregon student Sara Jacobson, who works with the school's Human Rights Alliance, said the PricewaterhouseCoopers audits don't give an accurate view of factory life. At some factories, workers are told when the auditors are coming and warned not to complain to ``the North American visitors,'' she said.
November 12, 1999 -Anti-Sweatshop Group Calls Nike-Sponsored Inspection Tour a Sham CORPORATE WATCH - http://www.corpwatch.org/trac/nike/news/usas.html United Students Against Sweatshops Says Proposal Uses Pricewaterhouse [Coopers]... ``We're alleging there was a conspiracy between the two [Nike & St. Johns] to force Keady out, violating his First Amendment rights to free speech and other rights,'' said Joel Joseph, an attorney and chairman of the Made in the USA Foundation in Washington, D.C."
James Keady (St. John's assistant coach), said he refused to wear shoes and clothing with the famous Nike swoosh because he believes the company's labor practices violate the social teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and the mission of the university, which is run by Vincentian priests. Specifically, he accused Nike of abusive labor practices in third world countries.
See March, 1999 "Business Ethics and Catholic Identity: The Nike Contract with St. John's" by John R. Wilcox - March 1999 issue of Catholic Practice, the E-Magazine of PastoraLink (press here) "A graduate student, Mr. Keady was also studying theology at the University and developed a term paper on sports and social justice. The topic addressed outsourcing of contracts by Nike to Asian factories and the charge of unsafe conditions against the company."
The New York Times. An article by David Gonzalez, entitled God and Swoosh at St. John's (B1, 9/16/98)
Also - Jeff Keady, a U.S. coach who was fired for refusing to wear a uniform with the Nike logo, is in Jakarta, Indonesia trying to live on Nike factory wages. To learn more about working conditions there, see his report at www.nikewages.org .
November 30, 1999 - (press here) WTO opens with protests, pepper gas By August Cole, CBS MarketWatch Last Update: 3:39 PM ET SEATTLE (CBS.MW) -- Police fired pepper gas as thousands of protesters took to the streets Tuesday to disrupt the first day of meetings of the World Trade Organization. ... NikeTown, a large retail store owned by Nike Inc., (NKE: news, msgs) which has often been a protest target for allegedly underpaying Third World laborers, was shut down because of activity on nearby streets. Graffiti sprayed on its windows included the sobriquet "Nazi Town."
December 1, 1999 - "WTO Protesters a diverse group." by DAVID FOSTER (press here). Associated Press Writer - SEATTLE (AP) -- World Trade Organization protesters are bringing a world of complaints to the streets of Seattle. The bewildering array of signs bouncing above the protesters' heads reflects the WTO's diverse, global influence: ``WTO Violates Women of Color,'' ``Sweatshops Are Slavery,'' ``In Solidarity With the Zapatistas,'' ``Wal-Mart and WTO Globalizing Poverty,'' to name just a few.... and Nike.
December 1, 1999 - (press here) “We don’t think it is right to have a global economy in which either corporations or governments are trying to find the most disempowered and exploitable workers,” said Thea Lee, AFL-CIO assistant director of public policy. “We are not seeking to equalize wages across all countries. What we want to do is to make sure that workers all over the world have the rights to organize unions if they choose to do so, to bargain collectively and to be free from child labor, forced labor and discrimination in employment. These are the core International Labor Organization labor rights.”
January 15, 2000 - "After an outpouring of international pressure and a 10-state speaking tour in the United States, Nike union organizer Haryanto has been reinstated at the PT Lintas shoe factory in Indonesia. Haryanto is an officer in the Perbupas union federation representing shoe and garment workers in a number of Nike factories in Indonesia. He remains committed to organizing support for Perbupas at the Lintas factory (CLR bulletin).
February 22, 2000 - STUDENT SIT-IN VICTORIES AND ARRESTS - United Students Against Sweatshops activists have taken the campus anti-sweatshop movement to a new level. There is no turning back. (press here) for Campaign for Labor Rights. The following are cites from thier posting.
INDIANA University administrators called a press
conference on February 18
to announce that the school would be joining the Worker Rights Consortium.
IU President Myles Brand had conferred by phone with the presidents of the
University of Wisconsin and the University of Michigan recently to discuss
a plan for the three schools to enter the WRC together.
On February 18, following a 60-hour sit-in at the
Dean's office by Students
Organizing for Labor and Economic Equality (SOLE), University of MICHIGAN
President Lee Bollinger committed the University to joining the Worker
Rights Consortium. The award for the most humorous anti-sweat action goes
to a University of Michigan student who put the Dean's office up for sale
on eBay, the online auction house. The eBay item included an asking price
of $3.60 - to emphasize that sweatshop workers' labor is absurdly undervalued.
April 1, 2000 - NIKE BULLYING TACTICS AT BROWN (Source Campaign for Labor Rights) - NIKE PLAYS THE BULLY AT BROWN UNIVERSITY! Cancels Contract To Avoid Compliance with Labor Practices Standards Organizations Mount Their Response In a move which has shocked student activists and labor rights advocates, Nike announced this week that it is terminating its contract to provide hockey equipment to Brown University, citing Brown's decision to join the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC).
April 18, 2000 (no date on item) Eight Anti-Sweatshop Leafletters
Arrested at Mall of New Hampshire
Will Touch Off Free Speech Case MANCHESTER, NH----Eight New Hampshire residents concerned about the exploitation of workers who make clothing and footwear were arrested for passing out leaflets at the Mall of New Hampshire, Saturday, April 18. (press here).
April 24, 2000 - Chronicle of Higher Education. (press here) By KIT LIVELY The chairman of Nike Inc., Philip H. Knight, has decided not to contribute millions of dollars to help renovate the University of Oregon's stadium because the university plans to join the Worker Rights Consortium, an anti-sweatshop group, a senior Nike official said Friday.
May 4, 2000 - Asher, Mark & Josh Barr (2000) "Nike cuts off funds for three universities." Washington Post (May 4th). (press here). "Clearly, the CEO of Nike and the corporate entity [is,] in this triple shot across the bow of the institutions involved, seemingly saying, 'Our financial support is not unconditional,' " said Sheldon Steinbach, vice president and general counsel for the Washington-based American Council on Education, an organization of the nation's colleges and universities. "It sends a message to institutions who are beneficiaries of Nike largess." Last week, Nike broke off negotiations with the University of Michigan for a contract extension that, like Nike's other contracts with colleges, would have been used to develop brand identification among fans and athletes. In exchange for cash and apparel, shoes and equipment manufactured by Nike, colleges agree to have their athletes and coaches wear the apparel with the Beaverton, Ore.-based company's familiar swoosh. The colleges also allow Nike to manufacture replica uniforms and other clothing with the college's mark or logo, which also carry the swoosh. Because its teams have been among the nation's most successful in many sports, Michigan was one of the first schools to reach a comprehensive agreement with Nike, in 1994. Among the things Michigan received from Nike were $1.165 million in cash; $620,000 for endowments, shoes, uniforms and practice gear for players and coaches on its 23 teams; and summer internships for Michigan students at Nike headquarters. Michigan's contract extension would have been worth between $22 million and $26 million over six years, sources familiar with the negotiations said. That would have made it the most lucrative such deal in college sports history. At the moment, the largest deal is the $22 million, six-year deal that Nike and the University of Texas signed last year. In the University of Oregon's case, Knight--who has given that university $50 million for academics and athletics--notified university officials he no longer would give personally to his and his father's alma mater. Nike's outfitting and merchandising contract with Oregon's athletic department, due to expire in 2003, remains in effect. The final year of Brown University's three-year contract with Nike for the men's and women's hockey teams was canceled in April. Nike said the reason was Brown's desire to change the terms of the deal concerning the issue of inspections at Nike's overseas factories. Although some college officials lump the three cases together, Nike officials said the situations are not related and their timing is coincidental." Do we really need Michigan?" said Vada Manager, Nike's director of global issues management.
July 25, 2000 - Activists protest Nike at Wisconsin capitol By Shenaz Bagha Badger Herald (U. Wisconsin) 07/25/2000 (press here). The protest included several University of Wisconsin-Madison students from the Madison chapter of United Students Against Sweatshops. An April report by UNITE claimed serious labor abuses, including low wages, abusive treatment, and excessive work hours of workers in Nike factories. But Nike contends that its practices are fair. Consult United Students Against Sweatshops for their analysis http://www.umich.edu/~sole/usas/
- Work in Canada -Maquila Network Update - June 2000 (5-2). http://www.web.net/~msn/5000502.htm#Nike
- See story in Badger Herald http://www.badgerherald.com/content/2000/summer/news/072400news1.shtml
2000- July-August - Indonesian labor activist Cicih Sukesih (left center), who was fired by Nike contractors after military threats failed to intimidate her (non-violence.org). As early as 1988, I saw a story in a Jakarta daily newspaper about a riot at a shoe factory where the Korean manager (producing for Nike and Reebok) had cut wages by two and a half cents a day. Police and Military have been helping to monitor workers " Cicih Sukaesih, for example, reported that one soldier put a revolver on the table during questioning of her friend.
August 18, 2000 - (press here) Activists gather in Eugene About 160 students attend a conference at the University of Oregon to discuss topics from sweatshops to farm workers By Andy Dworkin of The Oregonian staff. EUGENE -- Expanding efforts to fight sweatshops. Supporting farm workers. Stopping old-growth logging. Possibly removing the University of Oregon from a controversial sweatshop-monitoring group. These are the types of issues that drew dozens of student activists Thursday to the University of Oregon. They learned about political and environmental issues and discussed what goals liberal campus activists should pursue in the coming year.
August 22, 2000- Woods does not use the Nike Golf Balls he plugs (press here) USA Today.
Nike Inc. said the balls used by Woods, who is one of the longest hitters in golf with drives that travel 300-plus yards, have a slightly harder inner and outer core than the balls sold to the public.
''Those two elements are slightly firmer than the marketed ball,'' Mike Kelly, marketing director for Nike Golf, told The Associated Press.
Kelly said it's common practice in the golfing world to sell the public different products than what the pros really use.
BUT Joe Gomes, a spokesman for Titleist, of Fairhaven, Mass., said its players use the same products they advertise
August 22, 2000 - (press here) Nike decides to make nice with its detractors The Beaverton company attempts to defuse protests and answer criticism by talking with activists. By Andy Dworkin of The Oregonian staff After years of wrangling with protesters, Nike is forming strange friendships with some of its detractors. Oregonian Live ... It's the latest example of the once criticism-shy company engaging controversy. The company has also sent students to audit its factories
August 24, 2000 - QUICK NIKE RESPONSE "Nike to offer Woods' ball to public " (press here) USA Today. Public Remedies Inc. filed a federal lawsuit in San Francisco on Tuesday, claiming Nike has engaged in unfair business practices because the Tour Accuracy ball used by Woods is different than the Tour Accuracy version currently sold in golf shops.
But, are NIKE and Woods breaking the rules "While markings have no bearing on performance, rules are rules. Greg Norman was disqualified from the Greater Hartford Open in 1996 because his Maxfli ball had a different label than the one approved by the USGA."
September 4, 2000 - Rights Group Warns Athletes to Be Wary About Nike Monday, September 04, 2000 SYDNEY (Reuters) - Olympic athletes should think closely about their ties with Nike (NKE.N) because of the sportswear manufacturer's work practices in Asia, a human rights group said Monday. Community Aid Abroad, an independent Australian aid and human rights group, issued a report Monday claiming Nike was failing to protect the rights of its workers at Indonesian factories. (press here for more).
September, 2000 - NBC pulled controversial Nike-Olympic television commercials off the air? They spoofed the Halloween movies and showed "Jason" with a chain saw chasing a female Olympic runner.
December 18, 2000 Time Magazine (p. 85) "The Nike iD Here's a nifty thing to Just Do; Nike allows Web surfers to customize this sneaker on-line, selecting style, colors and lace types, even stamping the shoes with a personal ID code. Any bets on how long until you can pick your own sweatshop worker online?"
REEBOK - January 26, 2001. The Financial Times, "Nike, Reebok Mexico Plant violated Rights."
January 30, 2001 HEADLINE: Nike Limits Expressions on Personalized Sneakers San Jose Mercury News By Deborah Lohse SAN JOSE, Calif.--Nike's Web site invites sneaker zealots to "build your own shoe," choosing their personal colors and even a personalized ID running up the side. "It's about freedom to choose, and freedom to express who you are," the site says. Unless you're a critic of Nike.
Nike replied that the word "sweatshop" constituted
"inappropriate slang." Once again, Peretti begged to differ,
citing the Webster's dictionary definition of the word.
Finally, Nike 'fessed up its real reason for denying his
request, again by citing fine print: "Nike reserves the
right to cancel any Personal iD up to 24 hours after it has
been submitted" sometimes because they "contain material
that we consider inappropriate or simply do not want to
place on our products."
(See February - 2001 news item).
January 30, 2001 - Hurrah for the ACLU!
The Wall Street Journal Europe
Nike has replaced the Vietnam era's Dow Chemical in the activist pantheon of corporate villains. … Nike can claim it is not responsible for labor strife at the Kukdong factory in Pueblo, Mexico -- the plant is not now making any Nike products.
Nike is claiming right to Free Speech and the
ACLU has written a brief to the court on Nike’s behalf…Back in
May, 2000, plaintiff Mark Kasky filed a suit against Nike's defense of
its labor practices, on the basis of a California statute against
false advertising. Mr. Kasky's aim is, effectively, to stifle Nike's
defense of its labor practices by categorizing it as
"commercial speech." … As the ACLU pointed out in its
amicus curiae brief in support of Nike's position, Nike was
"seeking to use the same public audience reached by its critic,
using the same public forum in which that criticism had
appeared," i.e., letters to the editor, press release, letters to
university presidents, its Web page, etc. …The ACLU goes on to note
that the Supreme Court has been firm that speech cannot "be
denied full First Amendment protection on the ground that the
communication may also bring commercial benefit to the speaker."
February - 2001 - There is too much happening in Mexico to list here - see Mexico-Nike page.
February 16, 2001 5:33 AM - Subject: Just Forward It.
Nike now lets you personalize your shoes by submitting a word or phrase which they will stitch onto your shoes, under the swoosh. So Jonah Peretti filled out the form and sent them $50 to stitch "sweatshop" onto his shoes. Here's the responses he got... fun and games with Nike...
From: "Personalize, NIKE iD" <firstname.lastname@example.org>To: "'Jonah H. Peretti'"Subject: RE: Your NIKE iD order o16468000Your NIKE iD order was cancelled for one or more of the following reasons:1) Your Personal iD contains another party's trademark or otherintellectual property
2) Your Personal iD contains the name of an athlete or team we do not have the legal right to use3) Your Personal iD was left blank. Did you not want any personalization?4) Your Personal iD contains profanity or inappropriate slang, and besides,your mother would slap us.If you wish to reorder your NIKE iD product with a new personalizationplease visit us again at www.nike.comThank you, NIKE ID...
At the Harvard Market, $ 1.25 will buy one container of Nile Spice split pea soup, 60 Scott napkins in pink or blue, or a small bag of corn nuts. At a Nike factory in Indonesia, $ 1.25 will buy a day's work from one of the factory's laborers, said Jim Keady and Leslie Kretzu.
Dan Merry, a representative from the Minnesota Public Interest ResearchGroup, was touched by the presentation.
"It was really amazing hearing their personal story and their individualexperiences in Indonesia, of what sweatshops are reallylike and just how horrible they really are," said Merry, a College ofLiberal Arts freshman.
Merry said MPIRG is trying to improve any involvement the University haswith companies who use sweatshop labor byspeeding up the University's collaboration with the Worker RightsConsortium, a monitoring organization created by a nationalstudent group.
"After the University gives the WRC the information on where we get ourcollege apparel from, the WRC will monitor (thefactories)," Merry said.
February 3, 2001 - How to Battle
Sweatshops - The Washington Post AROUND THE world, abusive labor
conditions are so common that there sometimes seems no hope of
improvement. Some 250 million children are put to work in poor
countries, and at home the Labor Department recently reported that
nearly two-thirds of cutting and sewing shops in Los Angeles fail to
comply with the minimum wage laws. But last month a nongovernmental
group, the Workers Rights Consortium, successfully pressured Nike into
sticking up for abused workers in Mexico.
The Workers Rights Consortium (WRC) publicized the use of violence as a management tool at a South Korean-owned factory in Mexico that sometimes supplies Nike. “In the past, Nike might have denied responsibility. But, fearing that its brand might be tarnished in the eyes of campus customers, the firm chose instead to mediate between factory managers and workers.”
February 6, 2001 - H.
R. 460 (2001 H.R. 460; 107 H.R. 460; Retrieve Bill Tracking
Report) has been proposed and introduced by Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) as
of February 6, 2001. This
bill would require nationals of the United States that employ
individuals in a foreign country to provide full transparency and
disclosure in all their operations. Here are the provisions of the
first two sections of the bill (July 2, 2001
HR 460 was referred to the House International Relations Committee:
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the "Transparency and Responsibility for Unite States Trade Health Act of 2001" or "TRUTH Act of 2001".
SEC. 2. TRANSPARENCY AND DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS FOR UNITED STATES NATIONALS IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES
(a) Requirement. A national of the United States that employs 1 or more individuals in a foreign country, either directly or through subsidiaries, subcontractors, affiliates, joint ventures, partners, or licensees (including any security forces of the national), shall take the necessary steps to provide transparency and disclosure in all its operations, including the full public disclosure of the following:
(1) Information relating to location, address, and corporate name of all facilities abroad, including such information of all subsidiaries, subcontractors, affiliates, joint ventures, partners, suppliers, or licensees (including any security forces of the national).
(2) Applicable financial agreements, and investments of partners, suppliers, subsidiaries, contractors, and subcontractors of the national of the United States (including any security forces of the national).
(3) Worker rights practices and labor standards, including any complaints from employees and violations of local labor laws.
(4) Age, gender, and number of employees in each facility.
(5) Wages paid to employees, including policies on overtime pay.
(6) Working conditions based on current standards of the Occupational Safety and Health Organization for similar operations.
(7) Programs that educate employees about dangers and safety precautions of any chemical used in the workplace.
(8) Environmental performance, including toxic release inventory of all pollutants released into the local land, water, or air and disclosure of the amount of natural resources that are extracted, processed, or purchased abroad.
(9) The existence of security arrangements with state police and military forces or with third party military or paramilitary forces.
(10) The human rights policy of the national, any complaints received from local communities, and any human rights lawsuits filed against the national.
February 23 2001 - Mother Jones
February 22 - 2001 Nike report alleges abuse By
Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson in New York Published: February 21 2001-
Nike Indonesia workers face abuse, sexual harassment, low pay -
Times London dubs it, the
end of Nike's "denial" phase. Nike promises to remedy
'disturbing' problems at Indonesian
Why does Financial Times (London) get pretty much an "exclusive"? It might have something to do with FT's boss, David Bell, being Chairman of the board of Rick Little's "International Youth Foundation."
Workers at nine of Nike's contract factories in
Indonesia have witnessed verbal and physical abuse by supervisors
against co-workers, and female employees being coerced into sex,
according to a report released Wednesday by a nonprofit watchdog
Employees also complained of being forced to work overtime, seeing assembly-line workers fondled by managers and having access to medical care restricted, the report by Global Alliance found...
Researchers from Global Alliance conducted hour
long interviews with 4,004 workers - 6 percent of the work force at
the nine factories chosen - for the report. Subjects were chosen at
random, and the interviews were done without supervision from factory
officials, said Rick Little, chairman of Global Alliance.
Of the workers surveyed in the latest report, 56
percent said they had seen supervisors verbally abusing co-workers.
And 15.7 percent reported observing improper sexual touching. Another
13.7 percent said they saw physical abuse.
Workers reported seeing others punished for being late by making them clean toilets or run around the factory grounds. Others allege that the deaths of two workers were related to the denial of medication...
Nike paid for the latest report with a $7.8
million grant. Little, the alliance chairman, said Nike has acted in
good faith to solve the problems.
96 pct of workers questioned said that while their salaries were above the regional minimum wage, they were "not adequate to meet workers' increasing cost of living."
February 27, 2001 - (Boston Globe). To fix sweatshop conditions in factories, we must listen to workers By Dara O'Rourke, 2/27/2001 NIKE'S ADMISSION of sweatshop conditions in its factories in Indonesia last week was surprising and significant for two reasons: First because of how bad the conditions were, and second because Nike owned up to them.
February 27, 2001- Nike Hardball - University of Oregon withdraws from the WRC.
REEBOK - February 27, 2001 - Boston Globe Celebs back human rights Art-rocker Peter Gabriel and tennis ace Venus Williams will host the annual Reebok Human Rights Awards ceremony March 21 at Northeastern's Blackman Auditorium. They will salute Heather Barr, a New York lawyer and advocate for the mentally ill; William Coley, an advocate for refugees seeking political asylum in the United States; Kodjo Djissenou, a youth organizer campaigning for democracy in Togo; and Endungi Githuku, an artist using his plays and poetry to teach Kenyans about human rights. Reebok, based in Canton, will give $50,000 to each winner for donation to the organization of his or her choice. More human rights-loving celebs to be announced.
REEBOK - February 27, 2001 - (U.S. State Department) - Mentioning a Reebok subcontract dispute with workers - "Representatives of 4,700 footwear workers, who did not receive severance pay when their factory closed, staged a sit-in for several weeks in the national Parliament until the company paid the severances... In addition to normal work stoppages, workers occasionally used unorthodox tactics, such as blocking Jakarta's airport toll road. Representatives of 4,700 footwear workers, who did not receive severance pay when their factory closed, staged a sit-in for several weeks in the national Parliament until the company paid the severances.
Section 6 Worker Rights - a. The Right of Association
Private sector workers are by law free to form worker organizations without prior authorization, and unions may draw up their own constitutions and rules and elect their representatives.
REEBOK - February, 2001, the U.S. State Department's report to Congress on Human Rights around the world explained the struggle by Indonesian workers to win an equitable severance settlement with the Reebok contractor, Kong Tai International (KTI). The lawyer for KTI promised "a fight to the death" over the issue (the same law firm represents the GOLKAR party of the disgraced Gen'l Suharto).
March 4, 2001 -The New York Times HEADLINE: ON THE CONTRARY; Nike in Indonesia, Through a Different Lens BYLINE: By DANIEL AKST - AROUND our house, there were two big stories in the footwear business recently: Critics of Nike again walked all over the company because of conditions in Indonesian factories. And my son got new sneakers for $7
Global Alliance study of 4, 450 workers in 9 factories in Indonesia.
Akst says "Nike has had to embrace the accusations of its accusers instead of boasting that, by contracting with factories employing more than a half-million workers in 55 countries, the company is running one of the world's most extensive international development programs. By hiring many women (83 percent of the workers in the Indonesian factories) Nike is giving them the economic power to help raise their often-lowly social status."
March 6, 2001 - Associated Press University of Oregon Steps away from Labor Groups
March 12, 2001 -
Inside the Nike campus, set on 174 verdant acres behind a high earthen wall, executives described the students as tools of far more powerful forces. Exposes about long hours, child labor and toxic glues at factories used by Nike first linked it to the “sweatshop” charge in 1992. Nike quickly became what Manager calls “the poster corporation” of the emerging anti-globalization movement, targeted for its size,
fame and worldwide reach. By 1998 the sweatshop cause had taken hold on U.S. campuses, mingling on occasion with union protests at Niketowns. By the time black-suited anarchists stormed Niketown Seattle during the World Trade Organization summit in December 1999, Manager was waiting inside with extra security, escape routes at the ready and a sense that students, anarchists and unions were now part of one broad anti-Nike front. “It saddens me,” says Nike VP for corporate responsibility Dusty Kidd. “I think one day
the students will wake up and realize they’ve been used by their mentors in the union movement.”
The counteroffensive came straight from the top. In an office
overlooking Lake Nike at the heart of his campus,
founder and chairman Phil Knight says he decided in late 1997 to seize “the initiative” against protesters out to trash the brand he once called “my novel, my painting.” ...
Manager got advance notice of the tour through a network of paid
student sales reps and friendly administrators
at more than 200 universities with Nike apparel deals. He monitors college papers and anti-sweatshop Web sites, and describes listening on the phone while administrators report on anti-Nike protests outside their windows. “I’ve never called Nike in alarm, but we do watch,” says Mike Low, licensing director at the University of Arizona, a major Nike school. In talks with Nike, Low says, he has broken down the student movement into three strains: “good-hearted liberals,” “hateful radicals” and “anarchists who just want to destroy things.” That last group worries Nike most. Since 1997 there have been 40 to 50 protests at Niketowns. Last year anarchists lit firecrackers, smashed pumpkins and tossed clothes racks inside an Oregon store. In fact, such “in-store actions” have grown so common, says Manager, that “we have pretty good relations with police desk officers in all the cities where there are Niketowns.”
... Nike won’t back off. “It’s just not in the culture here to retreat, or to keep your mouth shut,” says war-room team member Amanda Tucker. Manager says his political polling and intelligence tell him the students are a “marginal” group who arouse little sympathy from peers or consumers. And he fully expects further clashes. As Manager escorted the protesters to the front gate, he muttered, almost to himself, “Well, I’m sure we’ll be talking again. Just mix it up.”
March 14, 2001 Michigan Daily - U. Michigan implements new labor code for suppliers
March 14, 2001 -
March 15, 2001 - An anti-sweatshop apparel procurement bill
March 22, 2001
E-Mail Legend In His Own Time
©2001 San Francisco Chronicle
March 22, 2001
|JONAH PERETTI OF
Oakland decided to take advantage of Nike's online
site where you can order personalized Nike shoes.
He sent in his order, but it was denied:
"Your NIKE iD order was cancelled for one or more of the following reasons. (1) Your Personal iD contains another party's trademark or other intellectual property. (2) Your Personal iD contains the name of an athlete or team we do not have the legal right to use. (3) Your Personal iD was left blank. (4) Your Personal iD contains profanity or inappropriate slang.
April 2, 2001 Last April 2nd, students at a high
school in Rome, Italy stopped a famous soccer
player from inagurating a Nike sponsored soccer tournament in their
school. The students occupied the school's conference room and
wouldn't let the event start, distributing pamphlets that said
"no sweatshops". The inaguration had to be called off,
to be organized somewhere else. The tournament includes over
4,000 high schools students all over the Rome area (Il
Manifesto, 2001). IL Manifesto
April 4, 2001 - Apparel Makers Back New
Labor Inspection Group
By Joseph Pereira, The Wall Street Journal
FLA SIDE OF THE STORY: "The FLA is very important to us, because it is going to replace anecdote with fact and set the record straight once and for all," says Veda Manager, Nike's director of global issues management. …The companies say the FLA can set real standards and help defuse unfair criticism. The FLA's nonprofit backers, meanwhile, see the group as a chance to engage the corporate world in meaningful reform that goes beyond attack politics.” … The process means it could be two years before any seals are actually affixed to shoeboxes or labels -- but Nike, Reebok, Levi Strauss and others are already eager to note their affiliation with the group. Factory inspections -- at $3,000 to $6,000 apiece -- won't be cheap, says Doug Cahn, Reebok's vice president of human rights and an FLA director. Reebok, which last year posted $2.86 billion in revenue, will need 60 footwear and hundreds of apparel factories inspected, Mr. Cahn says. Companies must pay for their own inspections, although the FLA will reimburse the firms 40% to 50% of the costs during the certification. After the companies are certified, only 5% to 10% of a brand's factories need be inspected each year to maintain a brand's affiliation."
WRC SIDE OF THE STORY: “… critics, noting the corporate financial backing, say the process promises to be anything but objective and rigorous, and means the FLA stamp won't signify much. Most FLA inspections will be pre-announced, giving unscrupulous managers the chance to make fixes that may last only a day. And only a third of a company's manufacturing sites need to be inspected to get the seal. With U.S. footwear and apparel makers supporting between 40,000 and 80,000 such sites abroad, that leaves a lot of uninspected territory." This is an outrageous attempt to fool the average consumer," says Larry Weiss, director of Resource Center of the Americas, an anti-sweatshop organization in Minneapolis. "It's nothing but an attempt to preserve the status quo."
What is interesting is the truncated
version of the story being told about Kukdong.
“One of the leading FLA-approved inspectors is Verité Inc., an Amherst, Mass., nonprofit hired by Nike and Reebok to look into an apparel-factory they use outside Mexico City earlier this year -- after it was disclosed that five supervisors were fired for complaining on behalf of factory workers. A majority of the 600-employee factory crew then engaged in a work stoppage. After interviewing 33 workers and managers, a four-person Verité team found unsanitary conditions, including non-functioning toilets, at the factory. The team also determined that some workers were being paid below minimum wage, that many were being struck by supervisors with screwdrivers and hammers, and that workers under the age of 16 were toiling longer hours than permitted by Mexican law. After reviewing the report, Nike and Reebok say they agreed to work with the factory's management to correct those problems.”
Our investigation of the Kukdong factories in
Mexico turned up evidence that they violate most of the FLA codes.
Kukdong goods were and are still produced with child labor, forced
overtime, sub-minimum wages, and rights of association with unions are
impeded with coercion by Kukdong management, the State of Puebla, and
a CROC union workers tried to oust in favor of an independent union.
There were also violations of certain air-quality and safety
precautions prescribed in the FLA code. See The
Kuk Dong Story: When the Fox Guards the Hen House By David M. Boje,
Grace Ann Rosile, &
April 11, 2001 - Nike in Australia - A few months ago, a large group of Aussie Protesters set aside their politicial allegiances and banded together for a single cause - to shu down the Nike stores Australia wide on MAY 1ST 2001. http://www.bantheboot.com/
STORY: Nike has recently started a marketing
campaign in Australia featuring a
fake campaigning organisation, the FFFF, who are supposedly
campaigning for fairness in football by seeking the abolition of
"unfair" high tech Nike football boots. The billboards and
posters impersonate activist posters, and the ffff.com.au website
[currently down] looks a lot like anti-Nike websites. The sub-text is
clear - don't believe everything some fringe group puts on the
internet. M1 activists in Melbourne have set up a website that looks
very similar to ffff.com.au site (www.bantheboot.com)
but which features info on Nike working conditions (as well as a
couple of unfortunate obscenities). See article from The Age below:
THE AGE ON-LINE
Protesters target Nike ads INTERNET REDIRECT By XAVIER LA CANNA
New billboards are to be targeted by protesters trying to send readers to an anti-Nike Internet site. As part of a new campaign to market "offensive "football boots on 900 billboards across Australia, Nike has created an advertisement designed to look like it has been defaced by vandals.
MAY 10, 2001 -
|What are Buffs worth? Few details known as CU-Nike deal up for renewal Published May 10th 2001|
How much are the Buffs worth to Nike Inc.?
June, 2001 - AAP NEWSFEED June
6, 2001 HEADLINE: Vic: Magistrate revokes bail ban on Nike protesters
By Nick Lenaghan MELBOURNE, June 6 AAP - A magistrate today revoked a
bail condition that had barred five protesters from central Melbourne
after they were arrested for blockading a Nike sportswear shop. The
four men and one woman, aged between 21 and 55, have been charged with
"besetting a premises" and "obstructing police"
for their role in a weekly blockade outside Nike's central city
outlet. The group was arrested last Friday, the 10th protest in
succession, over conditions said to be endured by much of Nike's
June, 2001 - AAP NEWSFEED June 6, 2001 HEADLINE: Vic: Magistrate revokes bail ban on Nike protesters By Nick Lenaghan MELBOURNE, June 6 AAP - A magistrate today revoked a bail condition that had barred five protesters from central Melbourne after they were arrested for blockading a Nike sportswear shop. The four men and one woman, aged between 21 and 55, have been charged with "besetting a premises" and "obstructing police" for their role in a weekly blockade outside Nike's central city outlet. The group was arrested last Friday, the 10th protest in succession, over conditions said to be endured by much of Nike's workforce.
Protester Luke Deer, 27, of Fitzroy, one of the five charged, said the bail condition had been "a clear attempt to silence our democratic right to protest and to issue our concerns about Nike's use of sweatshop labour". "Protesting is a lawful activity which we're allowed to do and under these bail conditions we can continue to protest in the CBD," he said. News And Features Surfing The Teen Dollar Matt Wade
Newspaper : Jakarta Post
Date : July 27, 2001
Title : Probation sentence sought for Ngadinah –ADIDAS EMPLOYEE
A prosecutor asked the Tangerang District Court on Thursday (July 26) to sentence labor activist Ngadinah to a probation period for inciting other workers to join a strike. Prosecutor Eka Widyastuti said that defendant Ngadinah should be sentenced to seven months in jail if she repeated the same offence within a year. The prosecutor said that the defendant had violated Article 335 of the Criminal Code on inciting others to commit "offensive or violent acts", which also inflicted losses to the company where she works: PT Panarub, a company that produces Adidas shoes (Full Story)
August 24, 2001 Sydney Morning Herald (13 Copyright of John
Fairfax Group Pty Ltd) The swoosh is drooping. Nike the
dominant clothing brand of the 1990s is losing ground with
teenagers who are switching their allegiance to local surf labels,
according to YouthSCAN, a survey of 10- to 17-year-olds. Two years ago
Nike reigned supreme in the popularity stakes with 41 per cent of
those polled rating it a favorite. But this year Nike plunged to 31
per cent and struggled to ward off a challenge from surf brand
Billabong. Billabong has surged from 9 per cent on the YouthScan
rating system in 1995 to 28 per cent this year just three
percentage points behind Nike. Rivals Rip Curl and Quicksilver also
gained, to be the fourth and fifth most popular, but Mambo has
lost ground polling just 1 per cent, down from 4 per cent two years
ago. Nike's declining popularity was part of a downward trend for
major international sporting brands adidas, Reebok, Puma and
Converse were all less popular. Nike's marketing director,
Carl Grebert, admitted its brand dominance was under pressure and
attributed the fall to the increasing number of brands on the
market and the rise of new fashion forces.
August 23, 2001 issue of the Casco Bay
Weekly (Portland, ME) The Swoosh is Coming! Demonstrators prepare to
protest Nike's annual meeting in Portland and the Center
for Cultural Exchange's decision to rent space to
the company -- by
The Center for Cultural Exchange, known for
sponsoring hundreds of multicultural performances, is renting
its facilities in Portland to Nike Inc., a footwear and apparel
company known for its exploitation of workers in sweatshops across the
globe, for the corporation's annual shareholders' meeting
on Sept. 17.
The center's decision to do business with the
Oregon-based Nike has sparked threats of demonstrations from
several groups concerned about the company's record of
exploiting Third-World workers.
According to Nike public relations representative
Leslye Mundy, the company is holding the meeting in Maine because of
its ownership of Yarmouth-based Cole Haan shoe company.
The country is still low-cost, so multinationals
SEPTEMBER 17, 2001 Date of Nike Stockholder Meeting In Portland,
October 20, 2001 in the Independent/UK 'We
Blew It' Nike Admits to Mistakes Over Child Labor by Steve Boggan http://www.commondreams.org/headlines01/1020-01.htm
The multi-billion dollar sportswear company Nike admitted yesterday that it "blew it" by employing children in Third World countries but added that ending the practice might be difficult.
Nike attempted to present itself to its shareholders in its first "corporate responsibility report" as a touchy-feely entity established by "skinny runners" and employing young executives who worried about the environment and the level of wages it paid.
The mere fact that Nike has produced such a report was welcomed in some quarters, but its main detractors, including labor groups such as Oxfam's NikeWatch and the Clean Clothes Campaign, said they were not convinced.
October 20, 2001 - Reebok, once again accused of human rights violations (child labor, sexual harassment, toxic conditions) in its China factories. Saturday October 20, 2:40 PM APEC should put priority on improving workers' rights in China: labor group SHANGHAI, Oct 20 (AFP) - China is ignoring labor violations by foreign-invested companies, and business leaders at the current Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum should put workers' rights high on the agenda, a rights group said Saturday.... The factory, Dongguan Elegant Top Co. Ltd., located in Dongguan city in Guangdong province, makes shoes for major multinationals including Reebok, Clarks and Fila, CLW said. It uses child labor and has subjected workers to using dangerous chemicals, such as methybenzene, without protection, according to CLW. Female workers at the factory, who make up the majority of its 6,000 employees, have been subjected to sexual harassment, while the company imposes hefty fines for even minor mistakes, CLW said.March 7, 2002
Thursday, April 18, 2002
Experts: Indonesians are 'starving' for Nike
Leslie Kretzu (right) speaks with student volunteer Anne Peick '04 during a presentation on sweatshops entitled "Starving for the Swoosh" last night.
In a presentation entitled "Starving for the Swoosh," Jim Keady and Leslie Kretzu, directors of Educating for Justice, criticized Nike and other multinational corporations for using "sweatshop labor," recounting their personal research experience in Indonesia....
There were Tuck students in the audience who defied Keady's assertions. One student took issue with Kretzu and Keady's criticism of multinational corporations, saying that the workers would be worse off without the jobs Nike provides.
Keady acknowledged the argument that Nike is helping developing countries by bringing in jobs and capitol but disagreed emphatically.
"Nike isn't there on a goodwill mission. Nike is there for one reason: cheap labor. Period," he stated.
May 2, 2002 - Calif. court says Nike can be sued for false
ads By Andrew Quinn
SAN FRANCISCO, May 2 (Reuters) - Sportswear giant Nike Inc.
(NKE) can be sued for false advertising over a publicity campaign that sought to
dispel reports that Asian sweatshops are used to produce its famous footwear,
California's Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.
In a split decision, California's top court found that
Nike's efforts to defend its Asian business practices were in essence
commercial, and thus not subject to the free speech protections guaranteed by
"Our holding ... in no way prohibits any business
enterprise from speaking out on issues of public importance or from vigorously
defending its own labor practices," the court said in its 4-3 majority
"It means only that when a business enterprise, to
promote and defend its sales and profits, makes factual representations about
its own products or its own operations, it must speak truthfully."
Nike's lawyers said they would probably appeal the decision
to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court decision overturned an appeals court
ruling which held that Nike's efforts to defend itself against sweatshop
allegations were noncommercial free speech and thus immune from legal challenge.
The case stems from a 1998 civil lawsuit filed in
California which charged Nike with willfully misleading the public about working
conditions for the Vietnamese, Chinese and Indonesian laborers who produce the
footwear with the distinctive "Swoosh" logo.
The lawsuit was among a number of high-profile attacks on
Nike over conditions at Asian factories where workers, mostly women aged 18 to
24, are subcontracted to produce most of its shoes.
The California suit said Nike knew that these workers were
subjected to physical punishment and sexual abuse, endured dangerous working
conditions, and were often unable to earn a "living wage" despite
workdays that could be 14 hours long.
It charged Nike with violating California laws barring
false advertising by deliberately obscuring these facts, alleging that the
Beaverton, Oregon-based company mounted an aggressive advertising and public
relations campaign portraying itself as a "model of corporate
responsibility" in an effort to boost sales of its products.
Of 720 factories producing Nike products, about 50 locations are known. Knowing the location allows NGO's to monitor the monitoring being down by corporate consulting firms. There is now a house resolution that would require all to be disclosed.
PROJECT: Find the non-disclosed locations of Nike
factories. Where are the secret factories? As soon as
we systematically identify where they are, we can
monitor what they are doing.
NEW We also want to find comparable factories where working conditions are better. For example,
Contact email@example.com at Academics Studying Nike, if you know where they are.
El Salvador, Guatemala
NIKE - Sit-ins-protests
Friday, April 14, 2000, 8:30-6:00
St. Stephen Episcopal Church 16th and Newton Street NW, Washington, DC For information, contact Campaign for Labor Rights at 541-344-5410
<CLR@igc.org>. Registration 8:30-9:15
Panels at intervals from 9:15-6:00: Mexico since NAFTA; sweatshop struggles in Central America; Nike and Gap; struggles in the U.S.; student anti-sweatshop activism; bananas in Central America and U.S. farmworker struggles. Plus a presentation: new directions and new strategies for the anti-sweatshop movement.
Nike Stocks and Event Studies of Storytelling (press here).
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