Nike Corporation

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Running head: ASSIGNMENT: 5 NIKE: FROM SWEATSHOPS TO LEADERSHIP IN EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES

Nike: From Sweatshops to Leadership in Employment Practices
By
Rhonda Stanley

A Paper Presented in Fulfillment
of the Requirements for
HRM 522
Dr. Crystal Dickerson
Ethics and Advocacy
December 6, 2011

Running head: ASSIGNMENT: 5 NIKE: FROM SWEATSHOPS TO LEADERSHIP IN EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES

1. Discern how a more effective ethics programs and a more viable code of conduct could have mitigated the ethical issues faced by Nike.

Nike has faced numerous ethical issues in the past and present day. Nike has

been accused of labor and human rights violations. It is said Nike wants to cut cost and

find cheap labor to manufacture its products. Nike’s manufacturing plant in Pakistan

was documented in a Life Magazine as hiring children to sew soccer balls. The plant in

Cambodia was sited employing child labor. Nike’s stand on this is in Cambodia you can

buy a fake ID for five dollars and the company was shown fake employee records and ages. In Nike’s Indonesia plant, these contractors have been are accused of horrible labor practices vicious name-calling to physical injury, and running sweatshops. According to a report by the American Press, there are 10,000 workers in the a plant in

Taiwan all which is women and they only earns 50 cents an hour. "They throw

shoes and other things at us. They growl and slap us when they get angry. Its part of our

daily bread," said a 23 year-old worker from the embroidery division. Another employee

was fired after taking a day off because she was sick. The management calls them

names which are insulting to their Muslim religion. At another plant in Taiwan, the

management made the workers stand out in extremely high heat because they didn’t meet

their daily quota. The employees say they take the treatment and keep quite for fear of

losing their jobs. I guess this is the norm in most third world countries were jobs are

scarce. Nike moved production from the US to Taiwan and South Korea when the US

workers demanded better pay. When democracy started to develop in these nations, Nike

Running head: ASSIGNMENT: 5 NIKE: FROM SWEATSHOPS TO LEADERSHIP IN EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES moved to Indonesia, Vietnam, and China (Given, 1997). Nikes Indonesian plant

committed several violations of human rights and health and safety standards. Workers

were paid only $2.00 per day. The employees were made to work with toxic glues and

chemicals without adequate training, mask, and gloves (Morley 2005). Nike agrees to pay

employees medical bills only after the have been paid in full by the workers who can’t

afford to do so. Fear is used to keep employees in line. Employees are scared to go to the

bathroom, and women who are menstruating have to wear multiple sanitary pads and

black clothing to hide blood stains (Morey 2005). Workers also have to endure verbal

abuse, humiliation, and 60-70 hour work weeks. Nikes internal monitoring doesn’t help

the issues the employees have. Monitors doesn’t find these problems because the

management is notified of visits ahead of time and clean up the facilities and employees

are scared to talk with monitors. Nike decided in 1998 after a scandal to follow US

occupational health and safety standards, end child labor, and allow external monitoring

of its facilities. Nike VP of Sustainable Business and Innovation Hannah Jones who is

responsible for company improvement of working conditions acknowledges that there

is serious and horrible physical and verbal abuse that exists at these plants. She admits the

company sees similar problems of this kind across the board with the supply chain on a

consistent level but sees the less horrible working conditions across the board. (American

Press). Horrible treatment and working conditions whether it’s with the...
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