Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Nike Sucks (I forgot to mention it...)

My previous post about accountability and my Nike runners lounge was met with a great point:
"Nike factories workers are paid wages insufficient to meet their basic needs, are not allowed to organize independent unions, and often face health and safety hazards. Do they talk about this at the Running Lounge?" I think I'll bring it up!

I know a girl who tried to order a high end Nike sweatshirt (you can do this online and get anything embroidered on it) she ordered one that said, "this was made in a sweatshop". But they wouldn't fill her order! Let's keep thinking... and then just do it already!


Dawne said...

Is the issue of sweatshops that clear cut? By robbing third world factory workers of their jobs, many are forced in the sex trade industry. Should our Western standards of equity in the work place be forced upon third world workers? Alternative employment options need to be available before we begin shuting down factories in the name of justice. We are proud to provide fair trade employment to many Bangladeshi workers, via Sally Ann Ltd., but shutter to think of garment workers losing their only income in the name of Westerners protesting sweat shop work. Hey, Danielle! Remember me????

armybarmy said...

remember you? how could I forget! ;-)
good point you are making here Dawne... not to mention (as explained in the attached article) Nike has done a fair bit to try and improve the factory conditions over the last decade... still, more could be done.

And that is the point really - more could be done.
Let's start demanding (as consumers) that our corporations do more on our behalf... Jeffery Sachs in his book The End Of Poverty suggests a similar argument as you do, Dawne... entry level jobs (like sweat shops) are often the first rung of development out of extreme poverty... so, the answer isn't just to shut them down - but to change them so that they are providing fair wages and decent environments for their workers...

we want the corporate machines to know that we care about the people who make our clothes/shoes etc... AND we want the workers to know that they are not alone in their fight for equality and dignity.

some great discussions here!

Kathryn said...

this makes me think about the scenario in the movie, Fast Food Nation. . illegal aliens escaping grinding poverty in Mexico making hazardous passage to the U.S., working in horrific conditions in a meat packing plant, or working in other low-pay jobs, yet to them its like striking it rich compared to what they left.