Thursday, May 25, 2006

"THE HIGHEST STANDARDS"

All Red partners have high standards and work practices: if they didn't and were trying to hide something they would be very foolish to bring all this Red attention on themselves.
- Bono defends his hook-up with, amongst others, Nike, Monday 22nd May 2006

Nike’s expectations in this area [unionisation] are also less detailed than those of Reebok (2001) and the Fair Labor Association. Nike does not, for example, specify that suppliers should negotiate in good faith with any union that has been recognised as a bargaining agent.

Nike provided a relatively detailed response to questions for this report, but declined to provide details of supplier factories where unions have been formed and have negotiated collective bargaining agreements. Research for Part 1 of this report found that in two factories — Jaqalanka in Sri Lanka and MSP sportswear in Thailand — Nike eventually intervened in a constructive manner and cooperated with the FLA to ensure workers’ trade union rights were respected, but only after local and international organisations made repeated public calls for Nike to enforce its code of conduct. In a third factory, PT Doson in Indonesia, Nike’s decision to cut all orders resulted in the Doson factory’s closure. The SPN union alleges that Nike’s decision was linked to the union’s industrial campaign for better wages and conditions in the factory.

Nike (2005a) declined to say what proportion of its production is taking place in countries or free trade zones where the right to freedom of association is not given legal effect. Nike distanced itself from responsibility for these decisions, arguing that the company’s relationship is with its suppliers, and that it is up to the suppliers to decide where to locate their factories. This ignores the considerable influence which Nike has in its relationship with suppliers."

- Oxfam America report 'Offside' into sportswear brands, published Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006