May 31, 2007
TORONTO - The Maquila Solidarity Network (MSN), an international labour and women's rights organization based in Toronto, today responded to the release of Nike's 2006 Corporate Responsibility Report.
"Nike has come a long way on transparency, but it remains opaque on the crucial issue of the wages paid to its production workers," says Bob Jeffcott, MSN Policy Analyst.
"Setting 2011 a target date to eliminate excessive overtime is a real step forward, since it allows consumers to evaluate the company's progress," says Jeffcott, "but why not also set target dates for payment of a living wage?"
According to Jeffcott, Nike is still unwilling to address the link between the price it pays to suppliers and the wages paid to workers. "Nike is placing its faith in increased productivity to deliver wage increases, but that's a blind faith at best," says Jeffcott.
"There's no guarantee that any gains from increased productivity will flow to workers," says Jeffcott. "It's much more likely that Nike, like the rest of the apparel industry, will demand ever lower prices from suppliers, eliminating any chance of improving wages."
Prior to the release of Nike's new Corporate Responsibility report, Nike was the sixth highest rated company in a study of transparency in major apparel brands conducted by MSN last year.
For more information, contact:
Bob Jeffcott, Maquila Solidarity Network, 416-532-8584