Nike: the Sweathop Debate

Topics: Ethics, United Students Against Sweatshops, Business ethics Pages: 2 (486 words) Published: October 1, 2008
1.Should Nike be held responsible for working conditions in foreign factories that it does not own, but where subcontractors make products for Nike? (2 points)

Yes, Nike should be held responsible for working conditions in foreign factories that is does not own, where subcontractors make products for them. Although, it may have been legal in that country, it was unethical of Nike to work with a foreign supplier that treats it employees poorly.

2.What labor standards regarding safety, working conditions, overtime, and the like, should Nike hold foreign factories to: those prevailing in that country or those prevailing in the United States? (2 points)

Ethical decision making is a very real dilemma when decisions pertaining to working conditions, overtime, etc. are to be made. Managers at Nike should make sure they adhere to basic ethical principles and routinely insert ethical issues into their international decisions. Nike should hold foreign factories to those prevailing in the United States by establishing acceptable standards that safeguard to basic rights of foreign employees.

3.Could Nike have handled the negative publicity over sweatshops better? What might it have done differently, not just from a public relations perspective but also from a policy perspective? (2 points)

Yes, Nike could have handled the publicity of sweatshops better by giving the University of Organ and other Universities donations that they had offered. Phil Knight withdrew the planned donations because the university joined the Workers Rights Consortium (WRC), because the United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) argued that the Fair Labor Association (FLA), which grew out of the Presidential task force on sweatshops, was not a truly independent auditor of foreign factories. This says a lot about their public relations as well as not following their policies in labor standards.
4.Do you think Nike needs to make any changes to its current policy? If so what?...
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