Will you buy Nike ever again?
by bilal.qadri on February 11, 2014 - 8:40pm
Will you buy Nike ever again?
Nike is a manufacturing company notorious for their sneakers, sweaters and for their sportswear worn by many famous athletes, singers and even actors. Nowadays, shoppers are greatly influenced from celebrities, which has lead to a greater demand for these products. Seeing that there is a need for these products, who is, in fact, responsible for manufacturing these goods? In 2011, an article written by Daily Mail Reporter explains that Nike workers in Indonesia, China and in Vietnam are being treated with brutality in order to increase the rate of production. The article explains that these workers are not only being physically mistreated but also mentally. The reporter articulates that workers are being called with disgusting names. On the other hand, Nike knows that this is happening to people and they claim that there is nothing they can do about it. However, Prakash Sethi, a corporate strategy professor at the university of New York, finds it hard to believe that Nike, a company that has a lot of revenue and profit, is incapable of providing a healthy and safe environment for their workers. The article goes on to say that the workers are powerless and that they must work in order to survive, barely provide for their families and in order to make ends meet. Towards the end of the article, the reporter claims that Nike contractors are moving their business to rural areas in order to stay away from the media and overseers.
This issue is quite striking because consumers like me are so concerned with following popular trends that we never take the time to step back and think about exactly what we are purchasing. In this news article, there are two very distinctive values and moral claims being presented. Nike corporations value competition, wealth and power. This is quite evident since we can see that these organizations are telling the media “they can’t do anything about it”. Similarly to Professor Sethi’s standpoint, I find it quite unusual how a company that makes so much money is not capable of providing its workers with the sufficient means to simply live. The personnel of this company are very greedy; they do not care about the poor labours who work long shifts to provide for the exquisite food on their tables. In addition, Nike representatives want to have the maximum profit possible, even more than their competitors like Reebok or even Adidas. Furthermore, Nike organizations are concerned about privacy. Their moral claim is to have the right to privacy. As stated by the reporter, we can see that Nike contractors are moving to rural areas so that the media wont discuss how they are treating their workers. By the company deciding to do so, it is evident that they know that what they are doing is wrong, yet continue to do so anyway, for it is beneficial for them. In contrast, the workers value security, justice, equality of condition and fairness. One can clearly see that the values the workers have outweigh those of Nike corporations. There are many moral claims the workers abide by, first off, they do not want to be used as a means to an end, and the workers believe it is wrong to act in any way that will harm another person. In fact, it is not only the workers who have this ideology. I personally do as well, along with many others, for it is simply human nature to know right from wrong. Having said this, I find that even Nike corporations share this belief to a certain extent, but unfortunately, they still prioritize money. In all, I find that this issue should be discussed since this concealed information is causing pain and if not death to the labourers. I find that if we eventually bring a stop to this issue, it will not only help the lives of labourers but will also help everyone, as a community re-evaluate their priorities and thus become ethical consumers.
"Nike Workers 'kicked, Slapped and Verbally Abused' at Factories Making
Converse."Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 13 July 2011. Web. 11 Feb. 2014.