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Thinking about making a last-minute plea for a Christmas gift? Already wondering what you'll get in place of the loser gifts you return? Before you beg for or nab Nike footgear, read on.
Nike, which dominates nearly half of the U.S. athletic-shoe market, Louis Vuitton trainers has come under fire in recent years for how it treats and pays overseas workers. New Air Jordans cost around $150, but many of the 500,000 laborers who make Nike shoes don't earn nearly enough to climb out of poverty, some experts say.
One of Nike's most vocal critics is filmmaker Michael Moore. In his 1997 movie, "The Big One," Moore interviewed louis vuitton shoes for men Nike chairman Phil Knight about his use of cheap labor in Indonesia. In the movie, Moore mentioned that he had named Knight among the top five big-business villains in America.
Though Nike also makes shoes in China, Vietnam and Pakistan, Moore spotlighted Indonesia because of especially low wages and Nike's alleged use of workers sneaker sale as young as 12. When workers tried to organize unions, the shoe factories (which are run by Indonesians and work for Nike on contract) used government troops to put down strikes.
Since the film's release, Nike has stopped using child labor in Indonesia and has raised worker pay 40 percent in 1998. But Moore told KidNews Nike needs to pay its workers so that they can afford to buy the shoes they make. cheap sneakers online "Until a few years ago, a bulk of his workers were in Indonesia," Moore said. "Now, they're inVietnam and China. He keeps looking for the cheapest labor."
Medea Benjamin is another critic. She's the co-director of Global Exchange, a human-rights group in San Francisco. "There has been this massive consumer movement to pressure Nike," she said. "There have been some concessions by mens shoes online Nike, but there's still a long way to go."
In October, Nike announced a 25 percent minimum-wage increase for Indonesian factory workers. The monthly minimum went up from 200,000 rupiah (about $18) to 250,000 rupiah (about $23). It was a positive step. But human-rights observers have said Nike could easily pay more. According to Benjamin, workers need at least 350,000 rupiah a month to maintain a decent standard of living.
"You can work long hours in a factory setting for Nike and you're still going to be really poor," Benjamin said. "It would take one of those workers over two months' salary to be able to buy a pair of Nike shoes."
Nike rakes in $9.6 billion a year and spends more than $1 billion a year in advertising. For less than 2 percent of its ad budget, or about $20 million, Nike could've doubled the pay of its Indonesian workers, according to louis vuitton sneakers kanye west investment manager John Harrington. He made that proposal at a meeting of Nike shareholders in September. It was rejected.
Meanwhile, Nike's Knight made $1.7 million in salary last year. That's more than 5,200 times the average pay for a worker in a Nike shoe factory. Knight's overall wealth is estimated at $3.5 billion!
Nike spokesman Vada Manager said the company's critics have overlooked reports by CARE (a global relief agency) and Dartmouth College. According to those studies, "Workers were not only making enough to meet their basic needs, but had enough to send to their family members in rural areas and still have some discretionary income."