|Issue No 62||14 July 2000|
Nike Faces Olympics Shame
Global sports giant Nike faces some pre-Games embarrassment with trade unions planning to bring an Indonesian victimized after organizing workers to Sydney to tell the real story of how they 'Just Do It'.
The worker, who was employed by one of Nike's 600 contract factories worldwide, was threatened into resigning and had his house ransacked last December after attempting to organize workers.
The visit, to be sponsored by unions, Fairwear and the Nike Watch Campaign would involve a series of public events to draw attention to Nike's treatment of its workers - although there is no intention to disrupt any Games events.
Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union national secretary Tony Woolgar says its important to raise public awareness of companies that seek to use the Olympics to enhance their public image.
Woolgar says while Nike is prepared to pay athletes like Tiger Woods huge sponsorships to wear their gear - in Woods' case $65 million - they say they are not responsible for the labour practices of their colleagues.
With Indonesian workers earning just $US32 per month, Woolgar says Woods' sponsorship would pay 60,000 workers for two years. Looking at it another way, he says it would take an Indonesian Nike worker 33,000 years to earn Wood's endorsement.
What's the Beef?
Nike is resisting requests from organisations involved in the Nikewatch campaign to:
- make public the addresses of all factories producing for the company
- allow regular unannounced factory monitoring by credible human rights groups which are independent of Nike
- establish a confidential complaint mechanism to a credible independent body for Nike workers whose rights, including the right to organise, are infringed.
- and, in Australia, to sign the homeworkers code of practice.
Keep reading Workers Online for further details of the tour and related events
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History: Organising - Fifties Style
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Unions: The Whistleblower
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International: Jakarta Breakthrough
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Satire: Amnesty Branch Targets Lazy Letter Writer
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Review: Little by Little
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005