Target: Mark Parker, Nike CEO
Goal: Demand that Nike increase pay and human rights standards in global factories.
Workers in Nike’s Indonesian factories are allegedly underpaid and maltreated women. Working conditions have been accused of being cramped, dirty, and abusive. Allegedly, women are emotionally, verbally, and sexually abused on a daily basis, according to sweatshop activist Jim Keady. Indonesia’s minimum wage is a mere $2.98 (USD) a day, yet Nike pays the women who work in this inhumane conditions an alleged $1.25 (USD) a day without overtime.
Keady allegedly provides evidence of factory managers forcing workers to put in overtime seven days a week. Workers are also said to be denied holidays, vacations, and even maternity leave. Additional evidence indicates that these alleged abusive conditions pervade the 679 Nike factories around the world. Currently, those factories are in 43 different countries and employ more than one million laborers. Studies by several activist organizations indicate that as Nike moves into a new location, working conditions in the factories they overtake degrade and wages drop.
The Indonesian women making $1.25 per day are also frequently trapped in these low-wage, abusive jobs. The general economy in the area has been depressed in recent years. Often these women wind up as sole breadwinners who are unable to buy simple “luxuries” such as butter for the family table.
Adding to the horror, many factory managers allegedly burn leftover shoe rubber and trash outside the factory. The toxins and known carcinogens are released in this process and contaminate the air that the workers breath, further endangering their health and safety. We must act now to protect these suffering workers. Tell Nike that they must upgrade the working conditions at their factories and pay workers a fair wage consistent with local minimums.
Dear Mr. Parker,
As one of the largest manufacturers of athletic shoes and clothes, Nike has a responsibility to the global community it employs. Many activists and reports have repeatedly shown Nike’s violations of human rights and local minimum wage laws.
In Indonesia, where the minimum wage is $2.98 per day, Nike allegedly pays its factory workers a mere $1.25 per day. The majority of employees collecting this paltry sum are allegedly women who face emotional, verbal, and sexual abuse on a daily basis and are forced to work overtime seven days a week. They’re also allegedly denied paid vacations, holidays, and maternity leave and forced to breathe in toxic fumes from burning rubber scraps and trash.
Evidence indicates these inhumane and unethical conditions are not limited to Indonesia. It seems as if these conditions and standards occur at each of the nearly 700 Nike factories around the globe and follow Nike as it moves in to new areas. These consistent violations can only be a result of corporate policies, whether written or not.
We demand Nike correct these alleged violations in Indonesia and across the globe and take measures to ensure they never occur again. Please improve the workplace and pay of your foreign workers.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit:Erin Corey