Northeastern Students Win Campaign to End Nike Contract!
After over a year of student organizing, Northeastern University is one step closer to being sweat-free! Northeastern’s administration has agreed to refuse to resign their licensing contract with Nike until Nike agrees to let the Workers Rights Consortium into their factories and complies with the WRC’s standards. A 2016 WRC report listed a string of workers rights abuses occurring at Nike’s Hansae, Vietnam factory, where most of our collegiate apparel is produced. In light of Nike’s failed commitments to remediate violations within their supplier factories, we recognize that it is more important than ever to send a clear message to Nike that these inhumane conditions will not be tolerated.We are hopeful that as more schools end their relationships with Nike over these abuses, Nike will finally be forced to treat workers with respect and dignity.
Northeastern University and the Progressive Student Alliance are committed to fighting companies that violate workers’ rights, the standards of the WRC, and our university’s code of conduct. We have previously cut our contract with Adidas, we are now severing ties with Nike, and the same will be done with any other company which commits similar violations. We hope that other universities will follow Northeastern’s lead in cutting ties with Nike until they have proven to meet the WRC’s guidelines.
This campaign truly made me feel a part of the Progressive Student Alliance and USAS’s national mission statement. It was amazing getting new students involved on campus and ending our semester with a victory. PSA Member, Lauren Perlik
What were the highlights of the campaign?
Marching through campus to the administration’s offices with Cambodian union leader Sophorn Yang and doing a banner drop at a basketball game that was visible on television! PSA Member, Jess D.
Sitting in the office of external affairs for a study-in, resulting in an impromptu meeting with Northeastern’s attorneys to discuss our university’s contract with Nike. Flyering outside of the bookstore to prospective students with a signs that said “CAUTION: Sweatshop Apparel Sold Here” and “124: Days NEU has knowingly supported sweatshops”. We informed prospective students and parents on Nike’s wrongdoings and Northeastern’s failure to address this issue. PSA Member, Lauren P.
What does it mean for you to have cut Nike in your college career?
I am hopeful that this will have an impact on Nike’s labor practices, and that we are setting a precedent for Northeastern to only work with companies who value workers’ rights PSA Member, Jess D.
I hope it means that other universities will follow in our footsteps. This victory shows that change is possible if students organize strategically and fight for an impactful cause. Furthermore, I hope that Northeastern’s administration continues to stand on the side of the workers in the future. PSA Member, Lauren P.