?Just Stop It?, an insult directed towards Nikes? classic ad, Just Do It. The insults and the questions all began at the demise of Nike?s Corporate Image. For a long time Nike was considered a conscientious company who had honest concern for their global cohorts. Nike is truly a global company with affiliations world wide,. The company has approximately 350 contract factories in thirty three countries employing nearly 5,000,000 people. The leading producers of Nike Product are : Indonesia, China, South Korea, Vietnam and the United States. To, date Nike has only come under fire for the Asian Factories, specifically Vietnam, China and Indonesia. The primary products produced in these countries are shoes. Nike uses labor in Asia because, ? The industry has its roots in this region due to a number of factors, including access to raw materials, high levels of expertise and quality and cost of labor.?
the company has had relations from the very beginning with subcontractors in Asia. The reason for this was that the prospect of using asian labor promised to be much cheaper and more effective then if the shoes were manufactured in the United States. Because of this long lasting relationship Nike has had with different asian subcontractors, consumers assumed that the company was treating their workers well and providing them with a safe, clean work environment. We were wrong.
In the 1980?s Nike manufactured their products primarily in Taiwan and Korea, but recently in that past five years, manufacturing plants have moved at an alarming rate to countries like, Indonesia, china, and Vietnam. The reason for this sudden move, was that the economies of both Taiwan and Korea were growing at a rapid rate. Global investors were establishing plants their on a frequent basis , while the locals were benefiting from all the work and extra money plummeting into their market place. These countries benefited by growing at a rapid rate both economically and socially. The workers began to expect more money for their work, thus big companies like Nike, moved out. Nike primary reason for manufacturing their shoes and accessories in countries like Taiwan and Korea was so that they could utilize the low production cost and make a vast profit selling the final product. Nike had no loyalty to these workers nor the countries, so they simply picked up their stuff and moved to another country where laws were lenient, labor was plentiful and production was cheap.
Nike does not own any of the factories that produce its products in Asia, and they do not directly employ any of the factory workers or the management. They contract out work to factories that make all of the product and run all of the factories. The reason that Nike operates this way, is because by contracting out their manufacturing the company is less ?responsible? and liable for whatever goes on in the manufacturing facility. Nike states the price that the company is willing to pay per shoe to be made and the subcontractor, once they agree to the deal is responsible for manufacturing the quoted number of shoes for the stated price. A second reason as to why Nike contracts out its manufacturing jobs, is because of the constantly changing styles of shoes. Consumers tastes and preferences change so rapidly that the manufacturing companies don?t have time to finish producing one style before an order for another style comes in. The factory managers are the ones that are creating the harsh working environments and the unreasonable hours. However, Nike, because of the amount of work they provide these manufcaturing companies with, have a huge influence on how these manufacturing plants operates. To ensure good labor practices Nike has a code of conduct that every subcontractor must agree to adhere to in order to get the contract finalized with Nike. If the Code of Conduct was an actually working model then it would have insured the workers a safe working environment, reasonable pay and reasonable hours and would have protected them from mistreatment and discrimination. However since the majority of the Nike workers are completely unaware that the company even has something like the code of conduct, they are unable to defend themselves through using the code as an avenue to complain or prove that any wrong doings have occurred. There is a small minority of people that are aware of the code of conduct. These people have formed a workers Union called the All China Federation of Trade (ACFTU), however this Union rarely protects the workers from management discrimination, because the Union is Government controlled and the government does not want to intervene with huge multi national Companies. The government tries to promote huge multi national companies to come into the country and establish a plant in so that the locals will benefit from foreign investors coming in and spending money and providing more jobs. This is also why the government is so lax with many of the laws that were put in place to protect workers from over work and under pay. The government wants their country to look good to investors, thus they forfeit their the responsibility of making sure that manufacturing companies are meeting all government standards.
In William Greiders analysis of the situatiion he quoptes Proffsor Lae Dilokvidhyarat who is an economist at Chulalalonkoirn University, ?Industrialization ahas maniputlated and dehumanized the weaker groups.? It is essentyially imposible for the weaker working class to confront the issue of their being underpaid and over wokrked. If the workers strike, they will lose their job or worse, imprisoned, if they try to encourage foreign buyers to stop purchaing their goods, then they are essentially diminishing the need for their jobs to be kept. ? Its not about money or material wealth, proffesor lee insisted, it?s a question of power, political power and the fact that some people gain a greater benfit from development. Everybody pasy a price for change-everybody-but the weaker people pay more then they get in return, much more) (greider, 355) Denying individuals the same rights to freedom, compensation, education and mobiltity are siome of the key undelying factors in the inequitable treatment of workers in China and Inodnesia and several other third world countries. The workers are being prevented from learning and understanding the difference between right and wrong., The workers know that the conditions that they are working under are not satisfactory, they also know that the treamtnet they receive if they fail to meet a quota is harsh, however they do not know that they have the right to stznd up for themselves and try initiate a change. The reason the wqorkers do not know this virtal information isnot due to their own lack of due diligence, its todue to the deprivation of education, the empowerment of the state and the constant exploitation of their labor by wealthy multinational companies. The workers are unable to sustain a healthy livelihood at their current wages, and for lack of a better explanation, they are to afraid to stand up for themselves and face the possibility of loosing what little they have. Two workers who go by the names of Cisah and Sadisah, explain to William Greider in an interview that at one point in time they established a strike against the Nike plant, with the hopes of having their wages raised. However, they were met with hosytility and were fired. The men said that they did not want to quit their jobs, even thought the wages were poor, because it was too expensive to return home to their families empty handed. So rather they put up with the The state defends the action of both the multinationals and themselves that the workers will educate themselves and become more civilized if they want to. The state contends that with the income that the workers receive, they will, in time educate themselves and learn to expect more from themselves and more in life. (greider, op.389) The multi national companies, contend that if the workers do not show the desiure to achieve more and excel in life, then why should the companies treat them like people who express the desire to achive