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Nike Case Study

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Essay title: Nike Case Study

Nike

When I went through my closet I found an old pair of Nike sneakers that I have had for probably 4 years now. On the tag inside the tongue of the shoe was the phrase made in China. As I kept rummaging through the closet I found a couple more pairs of shoes, a sweatshirt, and 2 hats, all Nike brand. They were all made in either China or Vietnam. I then made a guess as to the total amount of money I spent on these items. In the end a total of about 270 of my hard earned dollars was spent to outfit my inner athlete. I began contemplating how long it would take me to make 270 dollars. At my job it would take me about a day and a half to make that much money. I then began to wonder how long it would take the person who made these necessities of mine to make the same amount of money. I found out that it would take almost a year for the average factory floor worker in Vietnam to make that kind of money.

When I started to research the origins of my Nike wardrobe I found it extremely difficult to find out the workers wages. I did not find it difficult, however, to find out whom the people were and what type of working conditions they were subject to. When I went to the Nike website I found what I was expecting; conditions in the factories are great and all of them are adhering to strict guidelines of health and safety. I did not find this the big surprise. When I started visiting other websites I found that many claims of maltreatment, low pay, child labor, or unhealthy working environments really had no proof to back up their allegations.

At the Nike website I found that they admit to some allegations in the past but push towards proving that they are changing their labor practices for the better. The one thing I found very difficult to find was what they were paying their factory workers. In fact the only places that hinted at actual numbers were websites dedicated to boycotting Nike and again, I found they had no sources to back the claim up. I think there is a reason that Nike does not openly divulge the wages of their factory workers. My belief is that it is true that Nike does not pay their Asian factory workers very much money but that is only by American standards. I think if they were to openly publish the actual daily wage of an average worker people would tend to just look at the low number and not think about how much that really is worth to the average worker. I recently was in Thailand on a TDY for the Air National Guard. While I was their met a young man that worked for a paper mill. He lived in a descent two-bedroom apartment that he shared with a friend and he never really had a problem with having enough money to survive. He made about 50 dollars a month. I think most people fail to realize that 4 dollars a day to an American would be a joke but to one of these factory workers it is a lot of money and if it isn’t a lot of money to them it is way more than they would ever be able to get anywhere else. I think Nike chooses not to share wage information for this reason.

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