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You have to meet the quota before you can go home.

She hit all 15 team leaders in turn from the first one to the fifteenth...

The physical pain didn't last long,
but the pain I feel in my heart will never disappear.

The above statements were made by Thuy and Lap, woman workers at Nike plant in Vietnam, and reported by CBS in October 1996. However disturbing those comments might have been, they turned out to be but a scratch on the surface of a far more horrendous reality -- confirmed, quantified, and fully documented in a March '97 report by Vietnam Labour Watch during its visit to Vietnam.

Despite its progressive image in the United States, Nike is a very different company in Vietnam and in other Asian manufacturing operations. Reports of physical abuse, sexual abuse, salary below minimum wage and a debilitating quota systems are confirmed by CBS News, the New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, AP, Reuters as well as other non-profit and non-governmental organizations.

We started this web site in 1996. Since then, the stories of Nike labor abuses have made the front-page of many newspapers. The courage of Thuy & Lap to stand up to Nike sweatshops has helped spark a worldwide movement. In 1998, Phil Knight promised to change Nike's labor practices in Asia. We observed a few improvements, but much of Phil Knight's plan of actions were nothing but empty promises. In 1999, Thuy & Lap were fired for talking to reporter. Thuy is now working in another factory in Dong Nai. Lap is still unemployed. You can read her letter to Nike .

We are now in the year 2001. Still there's much left to be done. Nike continues to treat its labor problem as a matter public relations. Nike's factory wages are still the lowest among foreign-owned factories in Vietnam. Many studies have confirmed that Nike do not pay its Asian workers enough to live on. Nike factories continue to abuse its workers and violate their labor rights.

Nike did made changes. Nike has staffed up its PR department to go on a charm-offensive to seduce the public, to create confusion among concerned people about the reality of Nike sweatshops and to sow doubts about anti-sweatshop activists. Nike public stance has become much more sophisticated than five years ago. It's no longer simply refusing to acknowledge the labor question. It now tries hard to look like a responsible citizen; it has put out more Nike-funded "studies" & propped up Nike-funded organizations to be apologists for the Nike globalization agenda. Nike funded the Global Alliance for $10 Million USD and got numerous feel-good articles from Global Alliance studies of Asian workers. Nike also continues to use the Fair Labor Association (FLA) as a quasi-stamp of approval for its labor policy even though in reality the FLA is still a non-functioning organization. The FLA has not even monitor a single factory yet, despite numerous press releases promising actions.

Behind closed-doors, however, Nike continues its goal to sabotage any labor organization that stands in its way. To derail cooperation between US labor groups & Vietnam labor organizations, Nike sent a "private" letter to a high-level Vietnam government official accusing US labor activists of harboring a secret agenda to change the government in Vietnam, To stop the momentum of the Workers Right Consortium (WRC), Phil Knight's retracted his donation to the University of Oregon because the school has joined the WRC, a labor group whose agenda competes with Nike-sponsored monitoring body, the FLA. Nike also threatened to stop funding for universities that joined the WRC..

Please help this effort by sending a fax to Nike . We also urge you to refrain from buying Nike products until corrective actions are taken to improve these abhorrent working conditions, which have proven to be insulting to human dignity and neglectful of human conscience.

The Nike protest has many organizations: Press for Change , the National Labor Committee , Global Exchange , Campaign for Labor Rights, National Organization of Women , Clean Clothes Campaign , Community Aid Abroad , The Living Wage Project, Justice Do It Nike and several other NGOs. These organizations work together to persuade Nike Corp. to treat their overseas workers fairly. (Not all members of the Working Group on Nike advocate a boycott of Nike products.)

Please consult the facts and support this simple and necessary effort. Nike is a consumer oriented company and will respond to public pressure. The power of One is the starting point of power for All.

Please send any information, strategies, or ideas on how to protest and boycott Nike to Nike Protest, [email protected]

Vietnam Labor Watch
815 15th Street, NW Suite 921
Washington DC, 20005
Tel: 202.518.8461, Fax: 202.518.8462