Thursday, April 14, 2005

Nike Admits Abuse at Asian factories

"Nike yesterday produced the most comprehensive picture yet of the 700 factories that produce its footwear and clothing, detailing admissions of abuses, including forced overtime and restricted access to water.

"The company has published a 108-page report, available on its website, which admits to widespread problems, particularly in Nike's Asian factories. The company said it found cases of 'abusive treatment', physical and verbal, in more than a quarter of its south Asian plants. Between 25% and 50% of the factories in the region restrict access to toilets and drinking water during the workday. The same percentage deny workers at least one day off in seven.

"In more than half of Nike's factories, the report said, employees work more than 60 hours a day. In up to 25%, workers refusing to do overtime were punished. Wages were also below the legal minimum at up to 25% of factories.

"Michael Posner, the executive director of the organisation Human Rights First, described the report as 'an important step forward' and praised Nike for its transparency."


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