Escalating Sweatshop Protests Keep Nike Sweating

by MR Magazine Staff

College students protesting outside Nike stores around the country. Workers recently laid off at a factory in Honduras holding a rally to condemn the sportswear giant’s treatment of employees. Activists in a group called United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) organizing a “Global Call to Action Against Nike” to draw attention to allegations of mass fainting, wage theft, and padlocked exits at factories. It may seem like a flashback to the 1990s, when Nike became the poster child for corporate irresponsibility and was regularly targeted by anti-sweatshop activists. Over the next decade and a half, the company made serious efforts to reform its practices, adopting one of the business world’s first codes of conduct and winning praise from labor activists. But in recent months Nike has lost much of that goodwill, amid similar allegations, and is sparking new protests led by a new generation of activists. Benjamin Simonds-Malamud, a sophomore at Northeastern University, recently took an interest in workers’ rights. Several weeks ago, he joined a conference call hosted by USAS in which union leaders at the Honduras Star factory discussed what had happened to workers when Nike abruptly ended its contract. Read more at Fast Company.