“Just Stop It”, an insult directed towards Nikes’ classic ad, Just Do It. The insults and the questions all began at the demise of Nike’s Corporate Image. For a long time Nike was considered a conscientious company who had honest concern for their global cohorts. Nike is truly a global company with affiliations world wide,. The company has approximately 350 contract factories in thirty three countries employing nearly 5,000,000 people. The leading producers of Nike Product are : Indonesia, China, South Korea, Vietnam and the United States. To, date Nike has only come under fire for the Asian Factories, specifically Vietnam, China and Indonesia. The primary products produced in these countries are shoes. Nike uses labor in Asia because, “ The industry has its roots in this region due to a number of factors, including access to raw materials, high levels of expertise and quality and cost of labor.” the company has had relations from the very beginning with subcontractors in Asia. The reason for this was that the prospect of using asian labor promised to be much cheaper and more effective then if the shoes were manufactured in the United States. Because of this long lasting relationship Nike has had with different asian subcontractors, consumers assumed that the company was treating their workers well and providing them with a safe, clean work environment. We were wrong.
In the 1980’s Nike manufactured their products primarily in Taiwan and Korea, but recently in that past five years, manufacturing plants have moved at an alarming rate to countries like, Indonesia, china, and Vietnam. The reason for this sudden move, was that the economies of both Taiwan and Korea were growing at a rapid rate. Global investors were establishing plants their on a frequent basis , while the locals were benefiting from all the work and extra money plummeting into their market place. These countries benefited by growing at a rapid rate both economically and socially. The workers began to expect more money for their work, thus big companies like Nike, moved out. Nike primary reason for manufacturing their shoes and accessories in countries like Taiwan and Korea was so that they could utilize the low production cost and make a vast profit selling the final product. Nike had no loyalty to these workers nor the countries, so they simply picked up their stuff and moved to another country where laws were lenient, labor was plentiful and production was cheap.
Nike does not own any of the factories that produce its products in Asia, and they do not directly employ any of the factory workers or the management. They contract out work to factories that make all of the product and run all of the factories. The reason that Nike operates this way, is because by contracting out their manufacturing the company is less “responsible” and liable for whatever goes on in the manufacturing facility. Nike states the price that the company is willing to pay per shoe to be made and the subcontractor, once they agree to the deal is responsible for manufacturing the quoted number of shoes for the stated price. A second reason as to why Nike contracts out its manufacturing jobs, is because of the constantly changing styles of shoes. Consumers tastes and preferences change so rapidly that the manufacturing companies don’t have time to finish producing one style before an order for another style comes in. The factory managers are the ones that are creating the harsh working environments and the unreasonable hours. However, Nike, because of the amount of work they provide these manufcaturing companies with, have a huge influence on how these manufacturing plants operates. To ensure good labor practices Nike has a code of conduct that every subcontractor must agree to adhere to in order to get the contract finalized with Nike. If the Code of Conduct was an actually working model then it would have insured the workers a safe working environment, reasonable pay and reasonable hours and would have protected them from mistreatment and discrimination. However since the majority of the Nike workers are completely unaware that the company even has something like the code of conduct, they are unable to defend themselves through using