Would you sign a Nike contract after reading the following?
In Indonesia, Nike has 168,000 workers who are paid a paltry $212 a month. Here Nike has busted unions, refused to pay even the minimum wage, has verbally and physically threatened workers for exercising their fundamental right to freely associate, and they have cheated workers of millions of dollars in overtime pay. Along with the labour rights violations, Nike has also been dumping and burning scrap shoe rubber in Indonesian villages for 25 years – pumping toxins and carcinogens into the air, water, and soil.

In Malaysia, Nike has been found guilty of employing thousands of illegally trafficked workers. These workers had their passports confiscated to prevent them running away to get help or to find a better job. For years, Nike turned a blind eye on this issue until we brought the matter to prime-time TV and forced them to address it.

In Vietnam, the situation is even worse. Nike is the largest private employer in Vietnam with 330,000 workers. Here, workers are paid $132 per month. Because of Nike’s poverty wage, many workers cannot afford their basic needs, most distressingly, childcare. They are forced to leave their babies and young children with grandparents in their home villages while they migrate to cities to work. If they are lucky, they see their children a few times a year. Along with poor wages, workers in Vietnam deal with verbal abuse, inhuman production quotas, and one worker reported that because of restrictions on the use of toilets at work, a co-worker wet her pants on the production line despite repeated requests to her supervisor for a bathroom break.

Why are conditions for Nike workers in Vietnam worse than Indonesia and Malaysia? Workers in Vietnam have no voice. Through its state-run “union,” the ruling party has had an iron grip on labour for 50 years. It works with the police and government security forces so that workers who organise strikes are fired, arrested, and even jailed.
When courageous workers in Vietnam were fired for standing up themselves in recent years, Nike replied, "it is (our) legal right to terminate any employee who misses more than 5 days of work participating in a 'wildcat strike'. - Jim Keady

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