As students, we know we have leverage over our universities, and universities have leverage over industries. It was students that led the charge for transparency and accountability in the collegiate industry over two decades ago which led to the founding of the world’s only independent factory monitor – the Worker’s Rights Consortium ( The WRC). Universities must uphold their ability to combat sweatshop abuses by protecting independent monitoring as a crucial tool for workers to communicate abuses to their clients – especially our universities.
Following a worker strike at collegiate supplier in October of 2015- Hansae Vietnam Co., Nike announced their anti-worker policy to refuse the WRC access to it’s 690 supplier factories
Nike continues to blatantly violate our code of conduct – an unacceptable move on behalf of universities, and sets an incredibly dangerous precedent for treatment of workers across the garment industry.
To maintain a business relationship where both Nike and our universities profit from the backs of workers facing workplace repression is to be complicit in this violence. Nike was provided one opportunity after the other to take responsibility for all parts of their supply chain. Nike has effectively refused to do so by staying silent on the fundamental issue of independent monitoring.
“WE WANT MANY THINGS BUT WHAT WE HOPE IS THAT HANSAE TAKES CARE OF ITS WORKERS, AND THAT NIKE HOLDS THEM RESPONSIBLE TO IT. WE ARE OVERWORKED AND UNDERPAID. WE ARE HUMANS, NOT MACHINES.”
A worker at Hansae (over 10 years of producing for Nike)
It is clear to us that Nike has had over sixteen months to reverse their position and to remediate the violations at collegiate supplier Hansae Vietnam Co. Their delays and backdoor deal attempts unequivocally demonstrate to students and universities that this brand has no intention to do the right thing. Nike clearly would rather uphold their legacy as a leader in worker abuses and demonstrate to us their belief that the lives of primarily women of color in developing nations are disposable when it comes to amassing capital for Nike.
For these reasons and more – we are no longer going to wait for Nike to #JustDoTheRightThing.
In an era of attacks on workers rights, both domestic and abroad, the onus is on our university to uphold themselves as defenders of the collegiate garment industry.
in response to the bold endorsement of worker abuse behind our Nike collegiate apparel. we are calling on every college and university with a Nike contract to sever all licensing and “all-sports” agreements with the sweatshop swoosh and #JustCutIt.