I recently came across this article which highlights a number of challenges facing Nike from a supply risk perspective in China. According to the story, Nike faces supply risk challenges including "falsified documents, underage workers and unpaid wages," among other challenges. These findings surfaced after Nike's own research into the matter. According to their own report on the subject, there are "several labor-related problems, which included falsification of payroll records, hiring practices, entry of age in particular and the absence of a proper grievance system for workers."
When I read stories like this, I can't help but wonder if the factory owners supplying Nike in China have given much thought to how their own labor and management practices are looked at in the actual markets where Nike is selling its products (not to mention all the counterfeit and grey-market Nike junk you can buy in China that never found its way onto the export boat). Knowing the Chinese approach to remediation and process improvement, I can almost see a manager accepting that "mistakes were made" and suggesting specific corrective action steps in specific areas. But of course any infractions which fall outside of what was vocally or contractually addressed will never be considered and infringements will continue in these areas.
- Jason Busch