July 07, 2018
This morning’s Wall Street Journal bears a headline that “Nike Rethinks Pay, Bonus Practices.” In the #MeToo era that we are living, Nike executives had to account for “ignoring an abusive culture,” as the USA Today put it. The Wall Street Journal characterized it as a “Boys-Club Culture” at the end of March. According to thee USA Today, the decision amounts to a wage increase for about 10% of all direct Nike employees. These are welcome steps, but it is simply the tip of the iceberg.
Nike has a vast supply chain where many people critical to the company’s bottom line are exploited and under paid. We have talked about this issue in this blog previously, including this post. While we celebrate this advance for some 7,000 direct Nike employees, we continue to mourn for so many individual factories where that number labors at a pittance and amid great hardship. Nike must take greater responsibility for the care of workers in its supply chain. While acknowledging the wrong done to these direct employees, Nike remains willfully blind to the wrongs done to so many more workers the world over. A global company like Nike can, and must, do better. As Nike used to say, “Just do it!”