Nike’s Improved Labor Standards

By: Jenna DeWalt

Nike is notorious for the 90s exposure to unethical labor practices. Since then, they have been hard at work creating transparent environments in all of their factories around the world. To my surprise, Nike has actually infiltrated their own company with regulations to ensure that they are operating within moral and ethical standards. This particular posting is dedicated to looking at the social aspects of production of Point Loma’s Nike baseball cleats.

NIKE, (1) Inc. has worked to improve labor conditions in our footwear, apparel and equipment supply chains for more than 15 years. Key issues in which we have engaged include the health and safety of the workers who make our products, excessive overtime, the ability of workers to freely associate, and child labor and forced labor. “

Not only is NIKE setting a global example for transparent and international business, but also it is actively providing rewards (2) and benefits for its labor employees working in factories. Because it is a worldwide company the benefits and rewards look differently depending upon geographical location. But, it’s a start.

Nike was exposed for paying poor wages in the 90s. These wages allowed for a cycle of chronic poverty to set in and rule the lives of the laborers. Now, Nike works at understanding what the local minimum wage (3) requirements are for each of it’s factory locations and pays at least that to every worker. They have audits in place to consistently check to make sure that they are treating employees fairly. Nike did take a bit of a hit in the economic recession and eliminated some optional benefits that they provided the workers. While this could be looked down upon because Nike is such a flourishing company, they do plan on recovering those beneficial options. Examples of things they removed were overtime work/pay (because there weren’t enough orders being placed), transportation allowances, and attendance bonuses.

From where NIKE was at in the 90s, to where it is today because of social activists is astounding. The changes they have made and the transparency they have worked toward has set an example for many international companies. Do I believe they still have changes to make? Absolutely. But it’s hard to change overnight and as far as I can see, they are continually working at making their entire corporation the best it can be.

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Nike’s Improved Labor Standards

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