Nike praised by Oxfam

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A Small but Important Step Forward - Nike Reveals Factory Addresses

The following is taken from a news report written by Oxfam, published May 2005

Oxfam Community Aid Abroad welcomes Nike's decision to release its address list of factory suppliers for Nike-branded products. The release of factory addresses is an important step forward in terms of transparency and we strongly encourage other brands to follow Nike's lead. We also encourage Nike to release the addresses of factories making the other brands which Nike owns, including Converse and the discount sportswear Nike produces for sale in Wal-Mart stores.

The addresses were made public in April as part of the launch of Nike's latest Corporate Responsibility Report. Another positive aspect of the report is Nike's openness in admitting that between 25% and 50% of its supplier factories are:

1. failing to provide workers with one day off in seven

2. paying wages below the relevant legal minimum wage

Nike also acknowledges that the company's business decisions including manufacturing timelines and pricing may contribute to negative impacts on workers. More information is needed in order to assess whether Nike's "balanced scorecard" approach to selecting factories will reduce this problem. While openness and transparency are important, there is a difference between admitting to problems and solving them. Oxfam Community Aid Abroad remains concerned that the great majority of workers producing Nike product are still not paid enough to meet the basic needs of their dependents and are denied their right to freedom of association.

It is good that Nike acknowledges that trade union rights represent a key challenge for the company and admits that some suppliers are actively and illegally opposing organising efforts. However, Oxfam Community Aid Abroad is aware of only a few isolated cases where Nike has helped increase the space for Nike workers to exercise their trade union rights and in those cases Nike only acted positively in response to sustained campaign pressure. On wages, whereas Oxfam believes companies should commit to a living wage, Nike's report makes it clear that the company does not support this approach. Nike's moves to increase transparency in its supply chain are welcome. We encourage Nike to match this with a commitment to ensuring that workers are paid a living wage and with concrete action to ensure that workers' trade union rights are respected.

Taken from: Oxfams Website