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12E.6.6 Historic data from Nike concerning factory compliance

Data from "Sourcing and Manufacturing Timeline" online infographic produced by Nike.
Nike (Firm)

Nike. "Learning From Our Past." Accessed March 25, 2019.

This data from Nike shows the percentage of factories manufacturing Nike products that comply with Nike’s code of conduct. What trends do you notice? What else stands out to you in this chart? Factories in compliance provide jobs that are highly desirable for many workers in developing countries. Some of the workers at these factories enjoy wages that can be twice as high as the going rate for other work in that region. Some factories doing business with Nike also provide benefits such as health clinics, meals, overtime pay, and schooling. Even when a factory fails to be in full compliance with the Nike code of conduct, some of these benefits, such as higher pay compared to work elsewhere in the region, may still apply. Some people argue that even when fair labor practices are violated, the higher pay from factories that do business with multinational corporations is one of the reasons why globalization is beneficial to developing countries and individuals living there. How do you weigh the relative costs and benefits for workers in this global era of business?
As a wrap-up, consider having students debate questions such as: Should there be international labor standards, or should these standards be made at the national level? Should countries be free to set labor standards that make them most competitive in attracting multinational corporations, even if this means pushing down wages and other worker benefits? Or should all nations be encouraged to abide by minimum labor standards that could improve the skills, training, and productivity of their labor force in a way that would make the country more competitive in the long run? If there are international labor standards, who should write them? Finally, students can assess how the case study of Nike helps them weigh the costs and benefits of globalization to the people who manufacture the shoes and apparel, the people who wear Nike products, the factories and nations where these products are manufactured, and the international economy that Nike benefits from and influences.

            Compliance         #of Factories             #of Countries

FY ‘09      32%                           1034                                    55               

FY ‘10      39%                           1012                                    55                 

FY ’11       49%                            930                                    50                 

FY ‘12       70%                            910                                    43               

FY ‘13       68%                            785                                    43                 

FY ‘14        75%                            719                                    44                 

FY ‘15        86%                           692                                    42                 

FY ‘16        87%                           663                                     48               

FY ‘17         91%                           591                                      42                 

FY ‘18        N/A                           554                                      42