Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Case Study: Monitoring a Source of Nike's Sweatshirts

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Case Study: Monitoring a Source of Nike's Sweatshirts

Article excerpt

March 2000 The Kukdong factory in Atlixco, Mexico begins making sweatshirts for Nike; aims to produce 1 million pieces by the end of the year.

May 2000 PricewaterhouseCoopers audits Kukdong; reports child labor violations and worker/management communication problems.

Dec. 2000 Kukdong begins production for Reebok; aims to produce 40,000 pieces in a month.

Dec. 15, 2000 Workers boycott factory cafeteria to protest food quality.

Early Jan. 2001 Five supervisors who organized the boycott are fired.

Jan. 8, 2001 Temporary work stoppage; workers give management 24- hour ultimatum to reinstate supervisors and replace union allegedly controlled by management with an independent union controlled by workers.

Jan. 9, 2001 Demands unmet, workers protest. Stone- and garbage- throwing demonstrators refuse to let nonstrikers and managers leave the factory or eat.

Jan. 11, 2001 Mexican police forcibly remove some of the 600 to 700 employees (85 percent women) occupying the factory.

Jan. 12, 2001 Kukdong management agrees to negotiate with workers.

Jan. 13, 2001 Arbitration agreement signed, allowing return of workers.

Jan. 16, 2001 Majority of workers return to factory; Nike posts press release on website (www.nikebiz.com).

Jan. 16-26, 2001 Workers' Rights Consortium funds inspection by a Columbia University law professor; International Labor Rights Foundation and the Fair Labor Association (FLA) fund inspection by a Mexican labor lawyer; Nike coordinates with investigators, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and rights groups.

Studies confirm violations of child labor, minimum wage, maternity benefits, and cafeteria food standards. …

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