Report Proves Nike Sweatshop Workers Suffer Abuses

A report issued by the non-profit group Global Alliance shows that workers in the Nike plants in Indonesia and other parts of Asia suffer daily physical, sexual and verbal abuse by the plant managers. Through interviews with over 4,000 Nike employees at 9 factories, researchers heard testimony about plant supervisors forcing employees to work overtime, women employees being coerced into having sex and being fondled as they work on the assembly line.

Global Alliance, a non-profit conglomeration of companies including World Bank, Nike and Gap, is committed to improving the lives of factory workers, found 56 percent of employees said they witnessed supervisors verbally abusing co-workers, 15.7 percent reported observing improper touching and 13.7 percent said they saw physical abuse. Worker also reported punishments at the plant included scrubbing toilets and running laps around the plant’s grounds. Jason Mark, spokesperson for Global Exchange, a San Francisco-based human rights group closely following the Nike factory situation credited Nike for doing the survey. “I think it demonstrates a welcomed candor, but the question is what will Nike do with this information,” said Mark. Nike Vice President Maria Eitel told the New York Times that Nike would respond to the report by implementing a system under which plant employees can file complaints against co-workers and supervisors. Global Alliance will return to the Nike factories to conduct more interviews next year.


New York Times Ð February 21, 2001

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