Nike is an American multinational corporation that designs, develops, and sells footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories; however, it does not actually own any of the locations that manufacture their products. Nike has been under attack for having their products produced at facilities that exploit workers. Having previously admitted to less than ideal conditions at several of these facilities, Nike now claims to have improved their standards.
Nike is not responsible, technically, for the conditions in the factories that manufacture their products; however, deliberately and selfishly subcontracting to factories that exploit their workers is of questionable ethics. From an ethical standpoint, Nike should be sure to only contract with factories which are in compliance with the laws of their respective country. Ideally, Nike would employ full-time field representatives at all factories who manufacture their products to oversee the operations and ensure laws are abided by. In the event that a contracted factory is not in compliance with local laws, and refuses to make the necessary changes within a reasonable amount of time, Nike would be obligated to terminate the partnership.
While Nike should hold the safety of individuals employed to make their products at their highest regard, it is unrealistic to pay workers the same wages as what are paid in the United States because the cost of living is significantly less. Additionally, paying those types of wages abroad would diminish the need to outsource production and ultimately the employees of the factories producing Nike products would suffer horrifically. In a perfect world, Nike would invest into the factories manufacturing their products to make sure workers have safe working conditions and are paid fair wages according to their local cost of living.
The factories that produce Nike products are an incredible opportunity, economically speaking, to those who are employed by these factories. In fact, the average pay at Nike factories in Viet am and Indonesia are, on average, close to five times the earnings of the minimum wage in these countries. In general, affiliates of U.S. multinational corporations pay, on the average, twice the local wage of the developing world. When Nike first established in Vietnam workers had to walk to work; in many cases they walked for several miles. After being employed in a factory that partners with Nike for approximately three years, many workers can afford bicycles. After six years of continuous employment, many can afford...