“Nike: The Sweatshop Debate” Nike was established in 1972 by a Oregon State University track star Phil Knight and for as long as I can remember Nike has had the slogan of “Just Do it”. Is that Nike’s mind frame when it comes to working too? Do they tell their employees to Just do it, and stop complaining is that how Nike got tangled up in the Sweatshop Debate. Nike is a huge organization known most for making popular, fashionable sports gear. Over time Nike managed to become one of the largest sellers of sporting goods around the world with United States origins.
Like all large companies Nike has seen its share of bad publicity the most known bad fact of Nike is they have been accused of having sweats shops in poor developing countries. Nike was accused of have children working in hazardous conditions, with below-subsistence wages One thing I believe is important to point out that many people seem to overlook is Nike does not actually manufacturing anything, it simply designs and markets. But even if the employees are directly Nike employees should Nike be held responsible for working conditions in foreign factories owned by someone they contractor with.
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Many believe they should. Nike is technically removed from responsibility in some parts but as a company doing business with another company they have a certain level of obligation as well. When Nike hired the sub-contractors they could have inquired about the pay and working conditions that the workers of subcontractors receive. Let’s face it Nike contracts would be large enough to argue the subcontractor may not exit if it wasn’t for the Nike business, why wouldn’t Nike executives want to take a look around do some fair investigating about who they are going into business with.
If Nike had done it’s due diligence they may have been a head of all the attacks and protesting by chosen to make improved working conditions a part of the arrangement, them those benefits may have been passed on to the workers. Let’s not forget that Nike is a publicly owned firm whose goal is to improve the wealth of its shareholders, so maybe no one asked the hard questions because they didn’t want to know the answers or even worse they knew they answers.
Part of the saddest part of the Nike sweatshop issue is the workers in these foreign countries were happy, even eager, to accept the conditions that were provided as a manufacturer of Nike. They also may know if Nike were to leave the country because of the pressures placed upon it, the workers would undoubtedly suffer greatly. But the workers finally united and protested, with a human rights groups. Wages were reported t be as low as $103. 00 a month.
This amount in appalling to anyone, but technically Indonesia, China and Vietnam all have minimum wage laws on record that Nike was successful appealed with the governments in the countries for years and their own government would agree to allowing Nike subcontractors to pay workers below the minimum wage standards set in the country. To make matters even worse In 1997 Nike would be workers an apprentice rate for several months, that’s right even less than $103. 00 a month. Nike is not investing in 3rd World countires. They had left the countries with a lower wage.
Although Nike has claimed that the employees who were exploited weren’t officially ‘Nike’s employee’ but were instead employees of other businesses that have a contract to source Nike’s shoes. Nike has taken many steps to counter protests, and did admit there were problems in “some” oversea factories, which they are committed to improving working conditions and pay. Reference Facts on Nike Sweatshop Retrieved from Facts About Nike Sweatshops | eHow. com http://www. ehow. com/about_5485125_nike-sweatshops. html#ixzz1NJvMD7pR The Big Mac Index retrieved from http://www. economist. com/markets/bigmac/about. cfm