Abuses at Nike Factory in Malaysia – with Video

To:Primary Contacts, WRC Affiliate Colleges and Universities
From:Scott Nova
Date:August 7, 2008
Re:Abuses at Nike Factory in Malaysia – with Video

Australian television has exposed deeply disturbing human rights abuses at a Nike supplier factory in Malaysia, called Hytex. Click here to view the video of the news report. Since it appears that this is a collegiate factory, I thought you would want to be made aware of the situation.

On August 1, Nike issued a statement acknowledging abuses at the factory and pledging corrective action. According to the news report, hundreds of foreign workers were brought to Malaysia and have been held at the factory in conditions of virtual indentured servitude. The report said that workers’ passports are confiscated so they cannot leave, that their wages are withheld, and that workers live in squalor. Nike has disclosed Hytex Apparels as a collegiate supplier.

It is positive that Nike reacted quickly after the abuses were exposed. At the same time, it concerns us that violations this severe are still occurring in Nike’s supply chain.

It will be important to ensure that Nike follows through on its corrective action commitments at Hytex. We are asking Nike to provide us with a full account of the violations it is acknowledging at the factory, a detailed outline of the planned remedial action, and its analysis of why its monitoring program failed to prevent or detect these abuses. We are also communicating with Australian human rights organizations that helped uncover the violations. We will update you on this situation as warranted.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Additional news coverage of the case by the Wall Street Journal can be found here and by NBC here.

Scott Nova
Worker Rights Consortium
5 Thomas Circle NW
Washington DC 20005
ph 202 387 4884
fax 202 387 3292
[email protected]