On Tuesday, Multinational shoe and apparel maker NIKE announced that it was reducing payments to the National Basketball Association and was withholding payments to teams and players due to the prolonged NBA work lockout. The Beaverton, Oregon-based company said the move was part of a contingency plan to deal with the NBA’s six-month labor dispute, which they claim has hurt demand for Nike products. What they failed to point out in their announcement is that Nike’s slump in sales may be attributable to its stained image in the United States and abroad—an image fostered by its use of sweatshop labor in Asia and Latin America.
On this, Christmas Eve, thousands of shoppers will probably be buying Nike products to leave under the tree tomorrow morning. For this occasion, we thought it would be interesting to see how individuals are taking a stand against the unjust labor practices being carried out by a major U.S. corporation like Nike, while reaping tremendous profits.
- Jim Keady, a former assistant coach for the Saint John’s University men’s soccer team, one of the top-ranked NCAA division one soccer teams in the country. Jim is working on his Masters in Pastoral Theology at St. John’s. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Leo Johnson, coordinator of the Edenwald-Gun Hill Neighborhood Center, based in the Bronx, New York. He is here along with Brian Hernandez, one of several young folks who have been organizing in their community against Nike. Contact the Edenwald-Gun Hill Neighborhood Center: tel: 718.652.2232 or fax:718.652.2501.