Nike is the world’s single largest producer of sporting wear, clothing, shoes and accessories. An Oregon based company founded in 1972 by Phillip H. Knight and William J. Bowerman. Nike’s broad range of products is the key to it’s success, it’s range includes Nike Skateboarding, Nike Golf, Nike Pro, Nike +, Nike Air Jordan and owns other big names such as surf brand Hurley; shoe manufacturer Cole Haan; and two large sports companies – Converse and Umbro. Having such huge sponsorship contracts with many of the world’s biggest athletes and sports teams, these huge profiles are simply another outlet for Nike to promote their products. Nike currently employs over 31,000 people across more than 30 countries, Nike’s revenue for 2008 was a staggering $184 billion which is more than many small country’s GDP. However since this huge multi-national corporation has moved nearly all of it’s production to cheaper Asian countries there has been much concern brought forth about the legality and ethics of the company’s operations in these countries, many claiming exploitation of labour and human rights abuses are taking place.
Nike’s official website has a detailed set of “responsibilities” that it must adhere to in order to maintain a safe and fair working environment. Many of the policies are to do with sustainable production and development of their products. However many investigations through current affairs programs have revealed that some of these responsibilities are not being carried out. Nike has been accused of allowing the factories to force their workers to work 7 days a week, long days, employing underage workers. Nike continually defends it’s factories saying that the reports that they receive and inspections that they carry out show no signs of abuses or exploitation.
Can Nike’s factories really be that bad for a developing nation? Nike pays it’s employees almost 10% more than the average wage in...