Students at the University of Texas at Austin, are continuing to build their campaign against Nike. Although students and faculty have been demanding for months that Nike be held accountable to basic labor compliance, UT top administrators are instead choosing to let Nike’s $250 million, 15-year agreement silence them.
Prior to the group’s “speak-out,” UT administration heard directly from former Nike factory worker, Noi Supalai, but refused to accept the validity of Noi’s story before hearing from Nike representatives. “Nike didn’t pay the factory and therefore we didn’t get paid for months…Nike did not meet with us and instead, they pulled all of their orders from the factory leaving us in a bad position,” Supalai shared in the meeting. Despite Noi’s story of her and her coworker being refused wages and being detained within their factory, UT administration made clear they trusted Nike to ensure these types of conditions are addressed in supplier factories going forward. But is this any wonder given that these same administrators pocket thousands of dollars as part of the school’s lucrative sponsorship deal with Nike? Administrators at the University of Texas may have been silenced by Nike’s profits, but students and faculty have only just begun their campaign. UT PRIDE, SWEATSHOP SHAME.