From The Oregonian:
Nike casts light on factories
The company lists all of its labor shops for the first time and reports abuses at some
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Nike today is offering its critics an unprecedented look into its manufacturing network, providing the names and locations of the 705 contract factories that make its sneakers, clothing and equipment ... and makes Nike the first major apparel and footwear maker to reveal its entire factory base ...Activists, concerned about working conditions at alleged sweatshops, have sought the information for years ...Nike's disclosure of its factory base is "groundbreaking," said Neil Kearney, general secretary of the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers' Federation, a global group of unions based in Brussels, Belgium. Kearney was a member of an external committee that reviewed the report ... Nike was able to collect data and identify patterns of problems including harassment, excessive overtime and unpaid wages ... The company works with 705 active factories in 51 countries, with concentrations in China/Hong Kong (133); Thailand (73); United States (49) and Indonesia (39). Collectively, the factories employ an estimated 650,000 workers ...
Nike's report: Violations of code of conduct
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
In its first corporate responsibility report in four years, Nike identified five key areas in which factories did not meet the standards defined in Nike's code of conduct. The company's factory audits led to correction of problems in several cases, the report cites, including payment of more than $720,000 to workers who were underpaid.
Collective bargaining. Nike found that some factories illegally blocked organizing efforts and, in some cases, fired workers for organizing activity. In addition, China and Vietnam prohibit collective bargaining by law.
Harassment. Nike found that workers in some factories reported vocal, physical, psychological or sexual harassment or abusive treatment. In some cases, the factories lacked a confidential system for handling grievances.
Hours of work. Several factories required employees to work longer than the maximum of 60 hours a week, including overtime, that Nike directs its factories to follow. Some factories maintained multiple sets of books to hide the extra hours of work and falsify documents.
Wages. Nike found that workers frequently were underpaid for the time worked. In addition, workers often did not receive printed records showing their wages.
Child labor. Nike discovered five workers younger than the legal minimum age. Nike also found multiple instances in which factories failed to properly document the worker's age.
For more information: www.nikeresponsibility.com/reports