Recommendations on how to prevent such problems.
Recommendation of Nike Report
This report will investigate how Nike Company had been neglecting its workers by exposing them to harmful working conditions. The company wanted to gain financially at the expense of the employees. Over the years, the company had been dealing with the trading of clothes, footwear, sportswear, and equipment. The company had the headquarters based in United State near Beaverton, Oregon before moving most of its operations to overseas markets like Asia, Korea and afterwards to some other developing countries in Africa with an aim of evading strict regulations in the United States (Wilsey&Lichtig, n.d.).
Problems of Nike Company
In the recent times, the company has been criticised of exposing its employees to harmful work conditions, such as exposure of factory employees to industrial chemicals (Todd, Mottus&Mihlan, 2009). For instance, an inspection report prepared in a Nike shoe Plant in Vietnam by Ernst and Young, an audit firm, revealed that, workers at the factory were exposed to carcinogen. The carcinogenic substances exceeded the legal standards and could lead to respiratory diseases among the factory employees. The company had also failed to provide protective groves and mask to the workers who were directly involved with the harmful chemicals inside the plant. The companyhad intimidated the employees who intended to form trade Unions. Employees were paid low wages, and they were being subjected to long working hours. According to Erns and Young Report findings, thousands of young women below the age of twenty five years worked for 10⅟₂hours a day and six days in a weak under very higher temperatures and noise (Beder, 2000). Child labour, as well as harassment of workers by their supervisors, has also been experienced in the Nike Company.Allthese practices are contrary to the labour regulations and practices in many countries. The company was further criticised for contracting with countries like Mexico, China and Indonesia; whereby workers were poorly paid. This violated the minimum wage laws. Workers were also subjected to physical torture.For example, in Korea, workers were forced to lick the floor as a punishment andpregnant women were fired. In addition, talking to co-workers was not allowed at the workplace (Christopher & Avery, 2000).
Most critical problem that Nike Company was facing, which still is experienced today, was the poor monitoring of the work conditions for the employees. This has brought about a bad image to the company. For example, in 2008 Beijing, China Olympic Games, the company agreed to sponsor Lius Xiang in 100 meters hurdles. After realising that he could not win the Olympics, they forced him to withdraw from Olympics to avoid tarnishing the reputation of their company. Lius Xiang lost in the 100meters Olympics (Wilsey&Lichtig, n.d.). This action was seen as unethical and unacceptable by the media, and it was highly criticised by the members of the public. Therefore, the most challenging aspect to the company is to build a good image so that the public can have confidence in the company. Failure to do so will tarnish the image of the company, and this may cause great harm especially to consumers globally. Consumers are concerned about the corporate social responsibility activities of the companies.
Recommendations on how to prevent such problems in the future
The company was supposed to comply with labour regulations and practices in the United States instead of looking for other countries with less strict regulations to exploit. The Company should further treat all its employees and stakeholders with honour, respect and dignity by considering their welfare and providing them with a good working environment. Nike Company should participate in corporate social responsibility without fear or favour so that it can give back to the community (Christopher & Avery,2000). For example, the company should avoid CSR irresponsibility by supporting participants in sports without abandoning them like they did in 2008Beijing Olympics.
The company should provide employees with favourable working environment, which is free from fear and threat by their supervisors.This will not only motivate employees, but also, will increase the output per worker and consequently the productivity of the overall company at large.
The company should further allow employees to form unions so that they can say their grievances to the management and any other relevant authority. This can be achieved by allowing employees to have a mechanism for raising their concerns to the top management. This will make the management be in a position to know the employees’ concern, and this will prevent industrial actions, such as boycotts which spread across Albert in 1999. The management should allow both internal and an external audit to be conducted in the company without influencing auditors reports by splitting worker between those who would back the outcomes of the audit and those who will be against the audit report.
Therefore, based on the above report, it can be seen that the problems that Nike Company had been undergoing through; ranging from criticism of labour violations to tarnished reputation of the company. The management has failed to accomplish corporate social responsibility, and this has affected all the stakeholders of the company. The management should developed appropriate strategies to improve the image of the company. This can be achieved by creating favourable work environments for the employees. In addition, the employees should be allowed to form unions. Workers should be paid good wages, and protected from harmful conditions.
Beder, S.(2002).Putting the Boot In. The ecologist journal, 32 (3), 24-67.
Christopher, L. & Avery, O. (2000).Business and Human Rights in a Time of ChangeAmnestyInternational.UK. Retrieved 31 May 2012 from http://184.108.40.206/Chapter5.htm
Todd, L. A., Mottus,K.,&Mihlan.,G.J.(2008).A Survey of Airborne and Skin Exposures to Chemicals in Footwear and Equipment Factories in Thailand. Journal of Occupational andEnvironmental Hygiene,5(3), 169–181.
Wilsey, M. &Lichtig, S. (n.d.). The Nike Controversy.Retrieved 31 May 2012 from http://www.stanford.edu/class/e297c/trade_environment/wheeling/hnike.html