Should We Boycott Nike

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorUniversity, Master's September 2001

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Should we boycott Nike? Nike, a very successful shoes and apparel manufacture, famous with its slogan ¡§ Just Do It!¡¨ has captured great market share and established a strong brand name. Almost everyone recognizes the symbol ¡§swoosh¡¨! And as being the market leader, Nike attracts great attention for setting role model in the industry. The sweatshops behind the swoosh has been a hot issue and this summer Nike has once again become the target of the United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS), a group of activists who boycott sweatshop companies. By accusing Nike of practicing serious labor abuses at overseas factories, activists try to destroy Nike¡¦s public image by influencing people not to purchase Nike¡¦s product. However, I think we should not boycott Nike because Nike¡¦s overseas factories are nothing like the so-called sweatshops in terms of wages, working hours, treatment of workers, and working conditions.

Although data show Nike pays relatively low wages to overseas workers, the workers consider it quite substantial for their survival. Unite, an organization that supports workers¡¦ rights, investigates a Nike¡¦s Indonesia plant, and reports that Indonesian workers in Nike¡¦s plant earn $33 to $39 a month. They claimed this wage is equivalent to 16 ¡V 19 cents per hour and does not even come close to covering the costs of a family¡¦s basic human needs (Unite, 2). But for people who do not live like an Indonesian to judge and convince people otherwise are dishonest. Think of this, a huge green mango leaf filled with rice, fish paste and fried beetles costs only 5 cents in Thailand (Two Cheers, 1). We can never buy a meal at this price here. The cost of living in these developing countries is considerably lower than it is here, and to compare...

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