A Change in Perspective


After seeing Michael Moore’s film, “The Big One”, with Phil Knight and having our class discussion on Nike, some of my views on Nike’s labor practices changed.  In my previous blog, I sided with the critics for the harsh working environments and forced overtime topics.  However, I disagreed that Nike should raise their employee wages for the international factory workers because their competitors paid similar low wages and “most” of the workers were able to support themselves.

In Michael Moore’s interview with Phil Knight, I got the impression that Knight was just hungry for more money even though he said he wasn’t.  His argument for going into these third-world countries was that Americans do not want to make shoes.  Even after Moore proves him wrong, he said that any unemployed person would take any job but that doesn’t mean they really want to work in a shoe factory.  Knight did not give any justification for paying such low wages.  Also after Kelly presented some of the anti-Nike commercials, it really was an eye-opener to how these people live their lives.  With this said, in my paper I stated my change of opinion from my previous blog.

Personally, I feel that Nike’s actions were completely unethical and selfish.  I think that their international labor practices reflect their company as a whole which is why for a period of time people were associating the swoosh with labor abuse instead of its celebrity athletes.  It is clear that Nike’s contractors’ employees were placed in insufficient work environments and management was ignorant by not realizing the effects their decisions had on their workers such as forced overtime.  Moreover, I think that employee wages should be raised to livable standards where a worker is able to support themselves and their dependants.  However, I do not think it was exactly reasonable for Nike to be the “targeted company” when they were not the only company at fault; nevertheless, that still does not justify their business strategies

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