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Nike is facing a new wave of anti-sweatshop protests

Author: Marc Bain, Quartz, Published on: 1 August 2017

...In the 1990s, [Nike] was plagued by reports that it used sweatshops and child labor. Now, Nike’s sweatshop problem is threatening a comeback. On July 29, students and activists around the world participated in a day of protest against Nike, organized by United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS). The demonstrations, in cities such as Boston, Washington D.C., Bangalore, and San Pedro Sula in Honduras, represented an escalation of allegations against Nike that have been slowly bubbling up. Among them are claims that workers at a Nike contract factory in Hansae, Vietnam, suffered wage theft and verbal abuse, and labored for hours in temperatures well over the legal limit of 90 degrees, to the point that they would collapse at their sewing machines. Nike is also accused of cutting jobs at the Hansae factory and pulling production from a factory in Honduras with a strong union presence...

The company has also allegedly denied the independent monitoring group Worker Rights Consortium (WRC) access to inspect its contract factories... The WRC issue could become a serious one for Nike. ... Georgetown, Northeastern, Rutgers, and University of Washington—all among the WRC’s 190 university affiliates—have already cut ties with Nike or said they will allow their contracts to expire due to the company’s stance on factory inspections...

USAS also demands that Nike return to its full production levels at Hansae... Nike confirms that it reduced order volumes at Hansae. But it has also worked steadily to help correct the violations found at the factory, .... [and] says it only left the factory because Gildan, the Canadian apparel manufacturer that recently purchased American Apparel, forced it to... 

USAS is not convinced. “Nike has the ability to pressure Gildan to address this, and so far they have not,”...

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Related companies: Gildan Activewear Nike