Nike: The sweat shop debate
Nike Inc. is an American multinational corporation that is engaged in the design, development and worldwide marketing and selling of foot wear apparel equipment, accessories and services. It has its shoe’s manufactured on a contractual basic in different places like Asia, Vietnam and China. This case overviews the miserable working conditions where all the manufacturing takes places. It states even though Nike is the leading marketers in the shoe business in the planet but still how the very workers who make the luxury products are being neglected from their basic needs. Although Nike does not hold responsibility of the manufacturing locations in regards to how they operate but Nike has been accused of having its products produced in facilities that exploit workers. It is keenly observed that the basic human rights have been cruelly tarnished under the glittering logo. Nike has been targeted by various agencies and organizations throughout the world claiming how the workers who manufacture Nike shoes are denied of fair wage and benefits. The worker who make Nike shoes are been shutout while several sport megastars reap in multimillion dollar contracts to promote Nike shoes. Although Nike admits some wrong doings in the manufacturing facilities of its contractors, it claims to have started a commitment to improve the miserable working conditions in those facilities. To many Nike has become a symbol of the evils of globalization. Over the years Nike suffered and formulated the tactics to deal with the working conditions. It hired Andrew Young, one time US ambassador to the United Nation and former Atlanta mayor to assess the working condition. He commissioned an independent credit of its subcontractors and spelled out strictly to improve those working conditions. The critics were not convinced; they dug out each and every loophole. They kept protesting at the university campuses and accused Nike of continuing to hide the real conditions of the workers. Nike’s critics were more cautious, expressing concern that knights promises represented an attempt to low their demand for decent wages and replace them with significantly weaker agenda.
Question 1: Should Nike be responsible for working conditions in foreign factories that it does not own, but where subcontractors make products for Nike?
Yes I think Nike is somehow responsible for the working conditions in the foreign factories because Nike is the one who is giving the orders to manufacture their products to those subcontractors who are violating those human rights rules. But I do not think that Nike is 100% responsible since it is the subcontractors who operate and create conditions for workers. Low cost manufacturing is Nike’s strategy and it is realized by outsourcing the manufacturing process to countries with cheap labor. But that does not release Nike from the responsibility. During a developing process manufacturing is one of the most important intermediary step and because of that it belongs to Nike’s responsibilities, no matter they own the manufacturer or not. It is definitely hard to keep the overview about the end developing stage but if you decide to target the lower labor countries to save cost, you have to find a way of taking the control. Nike is a multinational company and it definitely has as much influence required regarding the working condition. Although it is a public owned firm and its goal is to increase shareholders wealth. It’s the low cost workers who made it possible for Nike to make enormous profit, but people need to make enough money to live, work in a safe place and a company should take care of its employees. Nike has a lot of financial power and it can terminate contracts when it wants to so it can force subcontractors to comply with local laws plus Nike is successful so philanthropic responsibility. Nike is fully aware of what’s happening in foreign factories , so it cannot escape its...
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