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July 10, 2010

Nike’s Love Affair with Sweatshops: Still Doing It

Folks in Portland were asking about current Nike abuses, this is a report from April

Just a few miles from Nike’s global headquarters in Oregon last night, two Honduran workers revealed Nike’s family-destroying labor practices.

Gina Cano and Lowlee Urquía testified in front of members of the Portland Area Workers’ Rights Board and a crowd of more than 100 community members.

Jobs With Justice chapters conduct such Workers’ Rights Board inquiries across the country, inviting prominent members of the clergy and academy, along with business leaders and activists, to hear testimonies, issue reports, and create an open space to air local and international labor battles.

Both Cano and Urquía had worked in Nike-contracted factories in Honduras for many years before being laid off in January 2009 without notice and without legally mandated severance pay.

“We’re here in Oregon, the home of Nike, because we want to put a face to the consequences of Nike’s behavior,” Urquía said. “We’re saying to Nike that it is responsible every step of the way.”

The two women represented more than 1,700 workers who are owed $2.2 million in severance pay. The workers are also owed health care premiums, which were deducted from their wages but never paid to the health care system. This meant that workers could not access health care in the four months before the closure. At least one worker, who had been receiving cancer treatment, died because of this denial of care, according to Cano and Urquía.

Read entire post by Margaret Butler on Labor Notes.

Posted by cat at 10:33 PM