(en) Nike Update 11/2/97

Shawn Ewald (shawn@wilshire.net)
Mon, 3 Nov 1997 18:40:31 -0700

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------- Forwarded Message Follows ------- Date: Mon, 3 Nov 1997 06:52:16 -0800 (PST) To: Campaign for Labor Rights E-mail list <clr@igc.org> From: Mike Rhodes <clr2@igc.apc.org> Subject: Nike Update 11/2/97

Labor Alerts/Labor News a service of Campaign for Labor Rights 1247 "E" Street SE, Washington, DC 20003 <clr@igc.apc.org> (541) 344-5410 http://www.compugraph.com/clr

Nike Update: November 2, 1997

1) We pass along part of a recent UPI story. California State Assemblywoman Dion Aroner joins a growing list of prominent people who are coming forward to denounce Nike's labor practices. Other recent events included:

A letter to Nike from a women's coalition including: the National Organization for Women, the Ms. Foundation for Women, the Feminist Majority and author Alice Walker.

A sign-on letter to Nike being circulated in the U.S. House of Representatives by Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Marcy Kaptur (D-OH).

Nike labor practices hit at Capitol

SACRAMENTO, Oct. 28 (UPI) _ State Assemblywoman Dion Aroner has launched a public awareness campaign aimed at persuading the Nike Co. to stop what she says is the exploitation of women workers at Asian shoe factories.

The Berkeley Democrat held a Capitol news conference today to call attention to the so-called sweatshop issue, although she stopped short of calling for a boycott of Nike products.

Aroner says U.S. consumers targeted by Nike's current ``female empowerment'' ads must decide for themselves whether to buy $100 Nike shoes. But she suggested they may not buy them once they learn the human cost to Asian women who comprise 90 percent of the labor force that make the shoes.

2) University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) students from the Nike Awareness Campaign met on October 31 with former North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith to discuss their opposition to the school's $7.1 million contract with Nike. Smith now has a personal contract with Nike to promote the company's products. Students who participated in the meeting found Smith cooperative although he has relied entirely on Nike sources for information about the company's labor practices.

3) Nike still has refused to release the wage-and-needs study it commissioned from Dartmouth College. Nike so far has released only a summary of the document, with great fanfare in the press. According to the study's authors, Nike employees not only make a living wage but they have significant amounts of discretionary income. Human rights advocates point out, however, that Nike continues to resist a provision for a living wage being included in the accord of the Apparel Industry Partnership. If Nike truly were paying a living wage, say these advocates, then why does the company not agree to such a provision in the accord?

Nike representatives met with four journalists at about the same time it released a summary of the Dartmouth report. In that meeting, a Nike spokesperson claimed that a family of four could live on the Indonesian minimum wage. The government of Indonesia has stated that the minimum wage there is inadequate to meet the needs of even a single worker.

4) Students at Arizona State University are now organizing to prevent their university from signing a proposed $1 million/year contract to have all of its teams outfitted with Nike gear. ASU joins a number of other schools where students are protesting such contracts.

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