I. INTRODUCTION Paragraph No.
A. Nike Described + Thesis:
Many people can prove that Nike is a company 1 that continues to push the boundaries of design and performance, promoting freedom and choice, but these same people leave out the obvious facts that show how this company exploits third world countries by using cheap labor.
II. History of Nike Inc.
B. Co-founding business 2
C. Business Success 3
A. Cheap labor 4
B. Definition of sweatshops 5
C. Locations of sweatshops 6
D. Working conditions 7-8
IV. Nike Defended
A. Ruined reputation 9-11
B. Target of organizational protests 12-13
C. Significant progress 14
V. Conclusion 15
We all know the slogan, "Just Do It," that Nike developed to sell its products. But just do what?
Nike is a company-- young and yet mature--developed and respected by popular athletes both past and present, whose icon remains a "swoosh" printed both large and small on many different forms of apparel. The "swoosh" constitutes a dream of being the best because it is associated with the best. Steve Prefontaine, Michael Jordan, and Tiger Woods are all icons that helped Nike promote its excellence by all three being exceedingly successful in their respective sports ("Our History" ½). Many people can prove that Nike is a company that continues to push the boundaries of design and performance, promoting freedom and choice, but these same people leave out the obvious facts that show how this company exploits third world countries by using cheap labor. It is necessary to raise that awareness so we can be responsible consumers and remember the source of our "swoosh" apparel.
In 1957, the future cofounders of Nike, Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight, met at the University of Oregon. In 1962 Knight formed "Blue Ribbon Sports," which gave birth to Nike's forerunner ("Our Chronology" 1/6). By 1964, both men became involved in distributing better shoes through their company. In the first year, the company saw a total of eight thousand dollars in revenue ("Our Chronology" 1/6). Three years later as the company grew Bowerman developed the first lightweight running shoe that became a large selling model. By 1969, "Blue Ribbon Sports" reached $300,000 in revenue ("Our Chronology" 2/6). In 1972, BRS launched the Nike brand and within six years the company became Nike Inc., as it is known today ("Our History" 2/3).
This business, once run by two men in 1957, has become what is now, in 2001, a twenty-three thousand employee based company with yearly revenue of eleven plus billion dollars. Through the example of this company, we see how change and power continuously created an eagerness to have more.
The way Nike continues to achieve more is by finding places with cheap labor so the profit coming from every item is more than the retailed value price. Cheap labor is found in third world countries where people are not just hungry for food but are also hungry for work. Nike has more that seven hundred subcontracting factories that employ more than half a million people around the world (Hsiao 3/21). This unfair advantage of exploiting third world countries will only continue to help Nike grow and become more powerful.
"Sweatshops" is the term used for these seven hundred plus subcontracting factories that employ thousands of people in places that possess a reputation worse than hell. Nike has hundreds of these factories spread throughout the world and the countries they dwell in help define sweatshops with the working conditions, forced wages and hours, along with the scandals and harassments.
The public was revealed a small list of locations in which these sweatshops inhabit. These countries include: Indonesia, El Salvador, Mexico, Vietnam, Korea, Taiwan, China, Italy, Philippines, Japan, Hong Kong, and Macau ("Labor Responsibility" 2/5). Within the Asian countries alone,