Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Nike Sweatshops

Nike Sweatshops

    Nike has been blamed of using sweatshops since the early 1970’s, when it produced goods in South Korea and Taiwan. As those foreign economies developed, workers became more productive, wages rose, and many workers moved on to higher paying jobs. Labor unions also gained more influence. Nike found cheaper labor offered in Indonesia, China, and Vietnam, which did not allow labor unions. In these countries, when workers demanded additional rights and benefits, the Nike factories closed and moved to a different location that would enable them to continue operating at a low cost. They are so greedy that they would do almost anything to increase profits.

    Nike has forty three factories and one hundred and sixty thousand workers in Indonesia alone. Workers are making just less than two dollars per day, most of the workers being females in there early twenties.  Kids are being forced to work long, hard hours in hot, crowded factories. Factory bosses work together with the local mafias to have them enforce their rules and have them punish the workers that don’t listen and follow rules. If they don’t do what is asked there wiped, beat, threatened at gun point, have their houses robbed of all their possessions and even worse some of them get killed just because they don’t follow the company rules.

    The sad thing is Nike is paying Tiger Woods enough money that every second he could buy a house in the slums of Indonesia. Tiger Woods makes as much money playing just one round of golf, as a person in Indonesia does in nine and a half years. Behind the Swoosh is an organization that was started by a man named Jim Keady, his intentions are to improve the working conditions in the sweatshops of Indonesia. Education for Justice is another organization Jim Keady started to raise money to help improve the working conditions for people in Indonesia. Workers are being exposed to harmful chemicals in the factories. Nike burns scrap materials such as the rubber from their shoes, in villages where kids play every day exposing them to harmful fumes. As a result of this, kids are developing breathing problems and lung issues.

Here is the video Jim made to show the world what Nike is doing in their factories:

    Even though Phil Knight and the Nike companies main goal is to make as much profit as possible, they need to learn where to draw the line. I think it is wrong to be so greedy for a profit that you are willing to put other people’s lives at risk. The workers in those factories are a big reason why Nike is what it is today, who would have done all the manufacturing if they didn't.  Nike should respect all workers that are involved with the company, even factory workers because they contribute a lot of time and effort into the company.


By, Cory Antonucci

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