Indonesia, Exploitation, Poor working conditions

In Indonesia, exploitation, poor working conditions and abuse of human rights are prevalent in Nike factories.

The factories refused to pay workers the minimum wage, which only covers 70% of their living needs, clearly not enough to support a family. Supervisors and managers are abusive to the predominantly female workforces who are ‘terrified’ to speak back as their meager wages will be cut if they do.

In the city of Sialkot in Pakistan, which specializes in export-oriented and labour-intensive goods, Nike was exposed for child labour in 1996, where an article was published that included a photo of a 12-year-old boy stitching a Nike soccer ball. Nike’s defense to such criticisms was that factories are owned and run by independent sub/contractors and not by Nike.
Goldman and Papson (1998) assert that by saying they do not know anything about manufacturing, as they are marketers and designers, Nike was able to distance itself from its treatment of workers and its working conditions, using the defense that they really did not know, and adding – as one Nike executive states – “I don’t know that I need to know”.


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