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Vietnam Labour Watch Reports

This report and its highlights are the result of a six month effort by Vietnam Labor Watch (VLW) to understand the working conditions of workers at factories in Vietnam that make Nike products. The effort was started in October 1996, after the CBS News program 48 Hours ran a segment detailing the abuse of Nike workers in Vietnam. A group of grass-root volunteers, deeply disturbed by the report, decided to contact labor groups and journalists in Vietnam to verify the report, to meet with Nike officials to discuss the problems and to organize a group called Vietnam Labor Watch to monitor the issue on an ongoing basis.

From March 2-18, 1997, at the invitation of Nike, Vietnam Labor Watch traveled to Vietnam to visit the factories. We met with workers, shoe manufacturing executives, labor union officials, union representatives, legal experts and foreign investment experts in Vietnam. In addition to the official factory tour of the Sam Yang plant, we did surprise visits to Sam Yang and three other plants that produce Nike shoes Pouchen, Dona Victor and Tae Kwan Vina. We conducted in-depth interviews with 35 Nike shoe factory workers outside their respective factories.

This study covers the following issues: labor law violations, wage, working conditions, health and safety practices, and sexual harassment. The study also compares what Nike told the American consumers about its labor practices versus what VLW has found in Vietnam.

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