Date: Tue, 1 Jul 97 13:12:16 CDT
From: rich%pencil@VM.MARIST.EDU (Rich Winkel)
Subject: NIKE: ICFTU Calls Young Report "A Public Relations Exercise"
/** labr.global: 436.0 **/
** Topic: ICFTU Calls Young Report "A Public Relations Exercise **
** Written 12:14 AM Jul 1, 1997 by labornews in cdp:labr.global **
From: Institute for Global Communications <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: ICFTU Calls Young Report "A Public Relations Exercise
Nike: The Young Report: "A public relations exercise"
From ICFTU Online..., 182/970630/LD
30 June 1997
Brussels, June 30 1997 (ICFTU OnLine): The sentencing on Friday
(June 27) of a supervisor at a Nike factory in Vietnam to six
months in prison calls into question a report published three
days earlier by a firm of consultants on behalf of the sports
shoe giant which claims workers for the multinational are "well
On June 27, Hsu Jiu Yen, a supervisor at the Pou Chen Vietnam
Enterprise Limited factory, which makes sports shoes for Nike,
was sentenced to six months' imprisonment for forcing 56 women
workers to run a 4 km circuit around the factory in the full heat
of the sun for failing to wear regulation footwear. Eight of the
women workers lost consciousness and had to be taken to hospital.
The sentence comes three days after the consultancy firm
Goodworks International led by former US ambassador to the United
Nations, Andrew Young, concluded in a study carried out for the
multinational that workers at Nike factories in Asia were well
According to the Young report, "the twelve factories visited in
China, Vietnam and Indonesia are clean, well-organised, well
ventilated and well lit."
Neil Kearney, General Secretary of the International Textile,
Garment and Leather Workers' Federation, ITGLWF, describes the
Young report as "nothing more than a public relations exercise".
"The visits to the factories were carefully prepared and it can
hardly be described as an independent study". Mr. Kearney
recalls that the ITGLWF contacted Goodworks International to
discuss independent monitoring, "but they did not even have the
courtesy to reply". "Organising publicity exercises will not
solve the problem of worker exploitation in the factories" said
the ITGLWF General Secretary.
In Ho Chi Minh city, the organisation Vietnam Labour Watch (VLW)
has also questioned the Young report. "I think the sentence
handed down to Mrs. Hsu Jyu Yen is harsh. I don't think this
woman deserves to spend six months in a Vietnamese jail, because
she was just doing what the company has taught her to do. She is
just a scapegoat for Nike's horrible labour practices in
Vietnam." said Thuyen Nguyen of the VLW.
Last March Vietnam Labour Watch listed in a report on workers'
rights violations the five factories - two South Korean and three
Taiwanese - operating for Nike in Vietnam. The organisation
pointed to wages below the legal minimum, restrictions on the
right to go to the toilet, and many other abuses, including
In its annual report published in June, the ICFTU also expressed
concern at the behaviour of employers in Nike subsidiaries in
Vietnam. Last year, the head of a Korean factory working for the
multinational was found guilty of beating his Vietnamese
employees with a shoe.
For details contact ICFTU Press at ++322 224 02 12. Other OnLine
news on Poptel Bulletin Board ICFTU-Online for geonet users and
on the WWW at:http://www.icftu.org