Nike Shareholders Lack ‘Just Do It’ Energy

Written by Jasmin Malik Chua for Sourcing Journal (12 September 2023)

Nike shareholders voted against a proposal that would have required the company to oversee and report on the effectiveness of its supply chain due diligence efforts in alignment with its equity and human rights commitments. The resolution, filed by activist investment platform Tulipshare, also called for Nike to disclose the metrics used to monitor forced labor and wage theft risks, consider adopting American Bar Association human rights contract clauses, and assess if these findings led to policy changes.

Tulipshare's communications manager, Samuel Collins-Charles, criticized Nike for not providing sufficient analysis regarding its steps to address alleged Uyghur forced labor in its supply chain. He also mentioned ongoing labor disputes, including a complaint filed in March accusing Nike of violating OECD guidelines for responsible business conduct by failing to address wage losses among garment workers during the pandemic.

Workers' rights organizations like the Asia Floor Wage Alliance and the Global Labor Justice-International Labor Rights Forum filed a complaint, joined by 20 garment sector unions across several countries, alleging that Nike owes workers $1.4 million in unpaid wages in Cambodia and $28 million elsewhere. They claim that instead of compensating workers or investing in safety and productivity programs, Nike engages in buyback schemes to artificially boost its stock price. The complaint also noted that Nike did not engage with garment worker unions, as expected by OECD guidelines and despite union requests for dialogue.

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