(en) JNL- Women's groups blast Nike's latest ad campaign (fwd)

Joseph E. Morris (jmorris@teleport.com)
Mon, 27 Oct 1997 23:03:03 -0800 (PST)

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---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 10:11:50 -0500 From: Thuyen Nguyen <thuyen@spacelab.net> To: justice-nike <justice-nike-l@teleport.com>, vnforum@saigon.com Subject: JNL- Women's groups blast Nike's latest ad campaign

Sunday October 26 10:56 PM EST

Women's groups blast Nike's latest ad campaign

WASHINGTON, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Fifteen U.S. women's groups, author Alice Walker and the head of the Congressional Black Caucus joined forces on Monday to put pressure on Nike Inc. (NIKE) to improve conditions for its workers in Asia.

The groups took issue with Nike's latest advertising campaign, which features women empowered by athletics, saying Nike's treatment of Asian factory workers -- most of whom are young women -- must improve if U.S. women were to buy Nike products in good conscience.

``While the women who wear Nike shoes in the United States are encouraged to perform their personal best, the Indonesian, Vietnamese and Chinese women making the shoes often suffer from inadequate wages, corporal punishment, forced overtime and/or sexual harassment,'' the groups said in a letter to Nike CEO Philip Knight.

The letter, signed by groups including the National Organization of Women (NOW) and the Black Women's Agenda, as well as Rep. Maxine Waters, a California Democrat and head of the Congressional Black Caucus, was to be released at a news conference on Tuesday.

The groups urged Knight to pay Asian factory workers fair wages and institute independent monitoring of its factories by local, respected groups.

``When a female worker collapses from heat and over-exhaustion in a Nike subcontractor factory in Vietnam, that's of concern to all women,'' said Kimberly Miyoshi, of San Francisco's Global Exchange, a non-profit human rights group.

``Nike must understand that women's rights are human rights -- and that they extend well beyond American borders.''

Nike last month severed ties with four Indonesian-based factories because they failed to adhere to the company's requirements for wages and working conditions.

The company has come under significant pressure from human rights groups over its Asian factory labor practices and outlined plans to expand sales of its soccer, golf and women's footwear.


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