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NATIONAL WOMEN'S GROUPS CRITICIZE NIKE OVER WORKERS ISSUES
Published October 27, 1997
A coalition of women's groups, which includes NOW and the Ms. Foundation for Women, "has attacked Nike as hypocritical" for running new TV commercials that feature female athletes, while alleging the company pays "its largely female overseas work force poorly," according to Steven Greenhouse of the N.Y. TIMES. In a letter to Nike CEO Phil Knight, the coalition wrote, "While the women who wear Nike shoes in the United States are encouraged to perform their best, the Indonesian, Vietnamese and Chinese women making the shoes often suffer from inadequate wages, corporal punishment, forced overtime and/or sexual harassment." Nike Labor Issues spokesperson Vada Manager said the women's groups "misunderstood Nike's role." In Asia, its factories "pay considerably more than do most factories in those countries." The commercials "show women saying they will be stronger, healthier and more independent if they are allowed to play sports" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/26). USA TODAY's Dottie Enrico reports that the 15 women's organizations will hold a press conference Tuesday "urging" Knight to "increase wages and hire an independent local investigator" at Nike overseas factories (USA TODAY, 10/27).