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Nike $250 Sweatshop 83¢

ID Number: 25413
Maker: Chris Gergley; Maquila Solidarity Network; Adbusters Media Foundation
Technique: offset
Date Made: 2005
Place Made: Canada: Vancouver
Measurements: 43 cm x 61 cm; 16 15/16 in x 24 in
Main Subject: Labor
Materials: glossy paper (fiber product)
Digitized: Y

Full Text:
Nike $250 Sweatshop 83¢ concept: maquila solidarity network, photo: chris gergley

Acquisition Number: 2006-187

Copyright Status:
Under copyright; used by CSPG for educational and research purposes only. Distribution or reproduction beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners.

Exhibition Annotation:
Nike is a major American supplier of athletic shoes, apparel, and sports equipment and was subject to a boycott during the 1990s and early 2000s because of labor abuses at its production facilities. Nike has factories throughout the world, but the majority of its manufacturing takes place in Viet Nam, China, and Indonesia. Nike moved into these countries after workers in South Korea and Taiwan (where it had large plants during the 1970s) gained greater ability to organize. Chinese and Vietnamese law prohibits the formation of independent trade unions and Indonesian law did not allow unionizing until 1998. When the campaigns began in the early 1990s, there was solid documentation of offenses at factories contracted by Nike, including sexual abuse, physical abuse, child labor, poverty level wages, exposure to toxic chemicals without protection, and a lack of protection for whistle blowers. At the same time, Nike’s profit margin was so high that it could have easily doubled its workers’ wages without raising retail prices. Although the primary target of the campaign was Nike, it was not the only athletic shoe company that tolerated abuses. FILA, Adidas, Puma, New Balance, and Asics were also accused of producing their products in factories with similar conditions. As a result of the boycott campaign, Nike instituted new codes of conduct for its suppliers and increased monitoring procedures at their factories to ensure that these codes were met. Conditions at some factories have improved, although there are still reports of abusive conditions and substandard pay at some locations.

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