This week, the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC) released a memo detailing labor violations found in a Nike supplier factory called Hansae, located in Vietnam. Because Nike is refusing to allow the WRC to enter the factory to conduct a full inspection, the memo is based on conversations with workers outside the factory. In order to provide a complete report, as well as make recommendations on how Nike should resolve these violations, the WRC is requesting that Nike assist the the organization in getting access to the factory. Students at Universities across the country have been demanding this access since workers initially went on strike in October, however Nike is continuing to refuse.
Following the Hansae workers’ strike in October 2015, Nike assured Universities that the violations had been resolved. However, seven months later, the WRC has reported that workers are being verbally harassed, workers are fainting on the job, workers are being denied sick leave, are being forced to work overtime, and workers have restricted access to toilets, among other egregious violations. Clearly these are types of violations Nike is trying to hide when denying the WRC access to any of its 680 supplier factories. We can only wonder what other violations the brand is trying to cover up.
These violations are not only inhumane, but they are direct violations of University Codes of Conduct. Over the last 20 years, students have ensured Universities uphold only the highest labor standards for brands that make their college-logoed apparel. Workers fainting on the job, or being harassed by management is a clear violation of these university standards. Schools across the country should cut their contracts with Nike unless the brand agrees once more to independent monitoring by the WRC and remediates the conditions at the Hansae factory.
Although Nike only sources 8% of the apparel made in the factory, the Hansae factory employs roughly 10,000 workers, meaning these violations could be impacting as many as 800 workers sewing Nike apparel. This is unacceptable and now it’s more evident than ever that Nike needs to allow the WRC to monitor its factories. Join with students and faculty from around the country who say enough is enough – Nike, #JustDoTheRightThing for your workers.