Born on: January 10, 1997



                                    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


SEARCH PAGE -- Find a word in this Page press enter repeatedly to FIND NEXT word

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.



Nike Stocks and Event Studies of Storytelling (press here).

World 1 Archive of Nike Labor News.



NEW Article by Diamond Jan 2005 on Subcontracting by Nike and Wal-Mart


"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? ; 260-982-5346


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.

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  (need new link).  See update at 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. March 28, 1997 IN AMERICA / By BOB HERBERT, New York Times Aricle - "Brutality in Vietnam" -- "That was horrible," said McClain Ramsey, the chief spokeswoman for the Nike footwear empire. "That was definitely horrible. Nike is definitely outraged that that was allowed to happen in a factory. I know that the manager has already been suspended. Nike has called for a full investigation, as have the authorities. That was just totally outrageous. I mean Nike is completely horrified." (Press here) for NY Times article at CLR site.

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 products
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 8, 1997 Nike Shoe Plant in Vietnam Is Called Unsafe for Workers
By STEVEN GREENHOUSE. This is the NY Times article that broke the audit story (press here) but you will need to get free subscription to enter site.

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:

November 10, 1997 - "Nike Tracks Across the Globe" is a series of articles for the Oregonian by Jeff Manning. It shows the interplay between activists and Nike aroud who is going to tell what story to the public about Nike and Labor. November 18, 1997 - (Securities and Exchange Commission). ... "Secondly, your proposed regulations (S7-25-97) will pose a major setback in the efforts to protect women and children's rights both in the workplace and in the media... Had Nike heeded the advice of concerned shareholders in past years they would not be the regular target of America's most popular cartoonist. Had they worked with shareholders they would not be struggling to
rebuild their extremely damaged public image. Shareholder resolutions protect the  financial interests of shareholders.

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  

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 12, 1998 -Nike to Improve Conditions - Nike has seen  its image tarnished by repeated criticism from human rights groups that the company takes  advantage of its workers in  developing countries by  paying them low wages under poor working conditions  By Harry Dunphy  The Associated Press  W A S H I N G T O N, May 12 — Seeking to lift the "cloud that has been over Nike's head,"  chairman Phil Knight said today that the shoe giant is raising the minimum age for workers and making other improvements in working conditions in Asian factories. (click here) ABC News story.

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 the story.
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.


June 8, 1998 Review: Corporate America as burlesque in 'The Big One'  Web posted on: Monday, June 08, 1998 5:50:12 PM From Reviewer Paul Tatara. (Click here) for CNN story. For another review (press here).

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 20, 1999 - HARYANTO (full name) lost two fingers in an industrial accident in the Nike shoe factory where he worked in Indonesia. Later, the factory used his injury as a pretext to try to relocate him out of that factory, where he served as a union officer. The real reason for his firing is that he was organizing workers to stand up for their rights. One of the activities which lost him his job was distributing the Nike code of conduct. (press here) to find the Alert.

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. :

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.

October 18, 1999 - NIKE IS NOT ALONE - News reported: "Reebok admits poor factory conditions  The athletic shoe company blows the whistle on health and safety problems at its own factories in Indonesia after an independent  study reveals numerous problems. BY TOM KIRCHOFER ASSOCIATED PRESS and (press here) for follow up story in Oregonean October 19, 1999. Reebok points to substandard conditions at 2 of its factories November 1999 - Survey Released - November 1999  Nike in Indonesia: (press here)  "Fuck You! You Whore! You Dog!"  New survey of 3,500 Nike workers finds evidence that workers are subjected to  excessive punishment and extreme verbal abuse. Indonesian women making Nike clothes and shoes are subject to senseless punishments and extreme verbal abuse if they work too slowly or break other factory rules, according to a new survey of 3,500 workers just completed by the Urban Community Mission in Jakarta.The punishments include wage deductions, having their ears pulled, being pinched or slapped on the buttock, being forced to run around the factory yards or having to stand for hours in factory yards (being "dried in the sun"). The verbal abuse includes the Indonesian equivalent of phrases like "Fuck You!" "You Idiot!", You Whore! and "You Pig!".

November 9, 1999 - Campaign for Labor Rights Report on Wages in Indonesia - Wages (Campaign for Labor Rights Web Site Press Here).

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 - 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. 


November 12, 1999 -Anti-Sweatshop Group Calls Nike-Sponsored Inspection Tour a Sham CORPORATE WATCH - 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."

November 18, 1999 - Former assistant coach sues university, shoemaker over free speech by WILLIAM McCALL, SF Gate News (press here) -- A former St. John's University assistant soccer coach who says he was forced to quit  because he refused to wear the Nike logo is suing the shoemaker and university. The lawyer for James Keady contends the nation's largest Roman Catholic university reacted to pressure from Nike after Keady began criticizing the New York school for accepting a multimillion-dollar licensing deal while workers at overseas Nike factories were being subjected to alleged sweatshop conditions. November 20, 1999 (press here) - Ex-Student Sues St. John's Over Contract For Nike Gear - NY Times On LIne - "A former graduate student at St. John's University filed a  lawsuit Friday against the university and Nike, claiming he lost his job as an assistant coach with the men's soccer team because he refused to wear team apparel with the Nike  logo.  The man, James Keady, 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.  "I think it's an abomination that amateur athletes and coaches are prostituted by these universities for millions of dollars" in contracts, Mr. Keady said at a news conference yesterday, asserting that Nike apparel is "produced in deplorable conditions." See also 

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

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.





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  

2000- July-August - Indonesian labor  activist Cicih Sukesih (left center), who was fired by Nike contractors  after military threats failed to intimidate her ( 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" <>
 To: "'Jonah H. Peretti'" 
 Subject: RE: Your NIKE  iD order o16468000
Your 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 use

3) 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 personalization
please visit us again at
Thank you, NIKE ID...


February 19, 2001 - Minnesota Daily HEADLINE: Speakers shed light on lives of workers at Nike factories  BYLINE: By Mike Zacharias, Minnesota Daily

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 Research
Group, was touched by the presentation.

"It was really amazing hearing their personal story and their individual
experiences in Indonesia, of what sweatshops are really
like and just how horrible they really are," said Merry, a College of
Liberal Arts freshman.

Merry said MPIRG is trying to improve any involvement the University has
with companies who use sweatshop labor by
speeding up the University's collaboration with the Worker Rights
Consortium, a monitoring organization created by a national
student group.

"After the University gives the WRC the information on where we get our
college apparel from, the WRC will monitor (the
factories)," 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".


 (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

Greenwashing  on Trial
Does Nike have a First  Amendment right to publicly claim that it is a
leader in fighting sweatshops --  or is that false advertising? The
California Supreme Court may soon decide.

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 - Financial Times London dubs it, the end of Nike's "denial" phase. Nike promises to remedy 'disturbing' problems at Indonesian factories

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 group.

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 2, 2001 The Boston Globe

A close reading of the report is a bitter disappointment.

There is not a single mention of the scores of brave workers who have been
fired by Nike contractors for organizing protests against abusive and often
illegal practices. Moreover, Nike sets out no restitution plan to pay the
thousands of workers who have been cheated, beaten, or harassed.

   The writer suggests that workers in Indonesia need for us to keep a
closer watch on transnational companies operating there. I'd guess that I
am among a handful in Massachusetts who has read this Nike report and a
similar one from Reebok two years ago. I'm all for transparency, but what
are we going to do with thousands of reports that consulting firms are all
too happy to crank out?

It is wrong to suggest that Nike is getting closer to getting it right by
operating with more candor. The present situation in Indonesia calls for
more than a mea culpa.  For real change across the board, let the workers
in Indonesia see that those who stood up and those who were grievously
wronged are financially compensated.

Money talks, and we all know what walks.



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

University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer announced Monday that the
school will not join the anti-sweatshop Worker
Rights Consortium - or any other labor watchdog group.

March 12, 2001 -

Daily Record

 March 12, 2001


POLICE evicted protesters dressed as Wombles from Nike's flagship London
store yesterday.

Around 25 activists occupied the Oxford Street shop, claiming the sports
giant were abusing female staff at a Mexican factory.

Nike denied the claim and added: "It's better for protesters to meet us
directly rather than disrupt people's shopping."

March 12, 2001 Swoosh Wars MSNBC
In an operation modeled on the Clinton campaign machine, Nike takes on its enemies By Tony Emerson NEWSWEEK INTERNATIONAL  — The campus radicals met their shadow from Nike in Chicago. It was day six of a barnstorming summer “Truth Tour,” accusing Niketown megastores of selling sneakers and clothes made in sweatshops.... [Vada] Manager says he was hired by Nike in 1997 to provide “political insight and strategy.” Using the “permanent campaign” of the Clinton White House as a model, Manager now answers every attack, no matter how small, from unions and activists to the United Students Against Sweatshops, who organized the summer Truth Tour. Behind the scenes, Manager taps a network of campus allies for “direct intelligence” on the student movement. Tipped off in advance, he dispatched teams of senior sales and security executives to head off the Truth Tour at every store on its route. He alerted police to the identity of the students and to be ready for violence, and took some satisfaction when the tour fell apart before reaching its final target: Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. “When the students saw the growing security and police presence, it had a deterrent effect, and I think it went very smoothly,” says Manager. “Nike approaches this as it approaches everything—as competition. And we aim to win.”

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

BYLINE: By Anna Clark

 Ann Arbor, Mich.

The University of Michigan has taken action to implement its new labor code in all contracts with apparel, souvenir and supply companies, among others.
The University of Michigan has taken action to implement its new labor code
in all contracts with apparel, souvenir and supply
companies, among others...
But Nike, the biggest supplier of University goods, is not held to this
code because it has a contract independent of the Collegiate
Licensing Company, which drafts all other contracts the University has with
approximately 580 suppliers...
But LSA senior and SOLE member Peter Romer-Friedman emphasized how long it
has taken for the University to take these

"Of course we're happy with this new code, but it's also unbelievable how
much time was wasted," he said.

He also criticized how Nike is held at a weaker code standard than the
other companies.


March 14, 2001 -


The University of Notre Dame's president, Rev. Edward A. Malloy, C.S.C., has accepted the recommendation of his Task Force on Anti-sweatshop Initiatives to join the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC).

In a letter to Scott Nova, executive director of the WRC, William P. Hoye, associate vice president and counsel at Notre Dame and chair of the anti-sweatshop task force, said the University was joining the WRC "in light of our shared commitment and our collective experience in the fight against unacceptable labor practices.

"It is our hope," Hoye wrote, "that a partnership between the WRC and Notre Dame will improve conditions for workers while helping to focus attention on this important issue."

Hoye affirmed that the University would remain a member of the Fair Labor Association (FLA), in which it cochairs the university advisory council.

March 15, 2001 - An anti-sweatshop apparel procurement bill

(complete with international
component) backed by UNITE passed the NYC city council yesterday with three
votes over the # required to override a mayoral veto.

The bill contained a $7.50 "non-poverty wage" U.S. standard ($8.75 if the
employer does not provide health benefits), to be applied internationally by
indexing the U.S. standard by a country's "standard of living" relative to
the USA.  A national standard of living is calculated via simple adjustment
to World Bank real per capita income figures, taking into account countries'
relative levels of consumption [not including consumption of military goods
and services]).

The NYC wage indexing methodology errs on the conservative side.  A
"sub-minimal basket" of goods and services that was designed by a Mexican
government commission in the 80s, updated for price inflation and multiplied
by three (for the number of household members that we think should be
supported by one salary), costs one worker's paycheck for 48 hours of work
at the hourly rate of $1.23.  A basket of "essential needs", determined by
the same Mexican gov't commission, comes out to $3.16 per hour.  The NYC
methodology produces a standard wage for Mexico that falls between these two
levels, at under $2 per hour.

As for China, a U.S. government agency that is charged with estimating
"expected wages" for "non-market" economies calculated that manufacturing
workers in China should be expected to make $0.80 per hour.  The NYC
standard for China falls below this level at a little over $0.50 per hour.

March 22, 2001

An E-Mail Legend In His Own Time
©2001 San Francisco Chronicle  
Adair Lara
  Thursday, 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- Jonah Peretti's polite, but spirited e-mail exchange with Nike traveled around the world. (Dan Stevenson) A graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Laboratory wanted to order a pair of shoes — and make a statement. But the Beaverton, Oregon-based company famed for its laissez faire corporate image found it could not comply... Looking back, the 27-year-old graduate student who took on a giant corporation is still astonished at how forwarded e-mails between amused friends and bored colleagues could
create such a storm.

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. What does the April 10, 2001 Pereira say 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, &  J. Dámaso Miguel Alcantara Carrillo The Wall Street Journal reduces the story to a "work stoppage," when in fact, the story is much wider and more important.  At Kukdong, some 600 workers, mostly young women took over the factory and their relatives and friends brought them food and blankets; they stood watch at the factory gates and tried to negotiate an independent union, better pay and benefits, but the government and the corporate-contracted union CROC, sent in the riot squad, landing 15 women in the hospital, and causing the death of two unborn.

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.

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 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 site ( but which features info on Nike working conditions (as well as a couple of unfortunate obscenities). See article from The Age below:


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 By TERJE LANGELAND  Colorado Daily Staff Writer

How much are the Buffs worth to Nike Inc.?
That question may soon be answered, as the current six-year, $5.6-million sponsorship agreement between the Beaverton, Ore.-based apparel giant and the CU athletic department is about to expire on June 30... Last January, after a year-long standoff over the question of alleged sweatshop conditions in Nike factories, the University of Michigan signed a seven-year, $25-million deal with the apparel giant -- an apparently significant improvement over its previous six-year, $8-million contract.

 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 NgadinahADIDAS 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 Elizabeth Reilly

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.


September 17, 2001 - Business Week -  (Nike) Staying Put in Indonesia By Michael Shari in Jakarta

The country is still low-cost, so multinationals aren't fleeing ...Of course, not all companies are immune from Indonesia's political unrest. Nike Inc., for example, has a full-time labor-relations manager at its Jakarta headquarters. Her job is to prevent disruption of the company's operations. In mid-June, for example, Indonesian workers launched a series of strikes to demand a minimum-wage hike. Mindful that local factories produce 31% of the footwear it sells worldwide, Nike dispatched its labor-relations monitor to see if the production lines were in danger of being halted. It turned out to be a false alarm, but companies like Nike must be vigilant all the time... The violence is expected continue...



SEPTEMBER 17, 2001 Date of Nike Stockholder Meeting In Portland, Maine

October 20, 2001 in the Independent/UK  'We Blew It' Nike Admits to Mistakes Over Child Labor by Steve Boggan

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 
INSIDE TRACK: WHY NIKE HAS BROKEN INTO A SWEAT CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY PART II: The sports equipment maker has been a target for anti-sweatshop campaigners. It has responded with self- criticism.
Financial Times March 7, 2002 By MICHAEL SKAPINKER

... Ms Eitel says that when she visits factories manufacturing goods for as many as 27 companies, she wonders why Nike has been singled out. "Everything you're wearing right now, where did these things come from? They came from thousands of factories around the world. I've seen some factories, not Nike factories, where I felt ill and had to leave. They were truly sweatshops in the classic sense." 

Campaigners such as Oxfam say they chose to target Nike because it had the largest profit margins and could afford to pay more, because it led the push into low-wage countries with poor human rights records and because it was the market leader. Success may be attractive to shareholders, but it means companies have to be even more alert to the threat of bad publicity. 


Thursday, April 18, 2002
Experts: Indonesians are 'starving' for Nike by Karla Kingsley, The Dartmouth Staff


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 the U.S.


"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 decision.

"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.

GLOBE 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,

What are the condition of factories where New Mexico State University Campus Story buys its garments with our logo on them?

Contact at Academics Studying Nike, if you know where they are.






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