The Nike Case
For Nike the world changed in June 1996 when Life magazine published an article about child labour in Pakistan. The article’s lead photograph showed a 12-year-old boy surrounded by the pieces of a Nike soccer ball. It was estimated that he would earn 60 cents a day. In a matter of weeks, activists all across Canada and the United States were standing in front of Nike outlets holding up the photo of the boy.
1996 was the first year in which real public attention was focused on Nike’s labour practices abroad. However American jobs have never been shipped abroad as Nike has never made shoes in the United States. Its first factories, which were built in the 1960s were established in Japan because at that time Japan was considered a low wage country.
Since 1996 NGO’s have had a close eye on the activities of Nike and a number of demonstrations were organised against the company whereby the Nike slogan and logo were constantly attacked. Many examples can be found on the Internet and we can see human rights activists demand from Nike, “not Just Do It, but Do It Right” or they motivate supporters by saying, “Just Don’t Do It.”
But not only Nike has been the subject of such campaigns. All kinds of businesses are in the focus of NGO’s from time to time so it is essential for organisations to perform regular social audits.
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