Hitting the Wall: Nike and International Labor Practices

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1) Which criticisms leveled against Nike do you consider to be "fair"? Explain. Nike's corporate practices are good indicators that the company is only interested in exploiting low wages in third world countries. This is indicated by investing in these countries through worker training or human resource investment but has continually shifted its operation to the country with a lower wage. Nike is in control of its subcontractors – They dictate the price of a shoe and the cost of operation to its subcontractors forcing them to set high quotas for their workers and to pay low wages. Based on the Ernst & Young report to do an "independent" inspection of Nike's factories, Observers found the following: •77% of the employees suffered from respiratory problems

•Thousands of females, mostly under the age of 25, worked 10. 5 hours a day, six days a week for $10 •More than half of the workers dealing with chemicals did not wear protective equipment, nor did they understand the nature of the hazards around them. Ironically, despite these observations, the report concluded that most employees were happy with their pay and working conditions. The issue of exposing workers to harmful chemicals has also arisen. Observers readily have brought attention to a characteristic smell inside shoe factories. Toluene, a solvent in primers and glues which has been used to bond shoe components, has been identified as one of the culprits. It has also been found to be a cause of brain damage, cancer, head aches, impaired coordination, and lassitude. 2) Which criticisms do you consider to be "unfair"? Explain. One of the most difficult issues facing companies such as Nike is their willingness to profit from the impoverishment found in third world countries. Most factory workers have little formal education, are poor and come from rural areas where opportunities to earn a leaving are meager. Consequently, the salaries paid by Nike factories may be attractive in comparison to...
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