The decades-old campus movement to change Nike's worker treatment policies may finally be gaining traction.
In April, the University of Wisconsin was the first school to officially cut ties with Nike over its treatment of displaced Honduran workers. Cornell University followed suit earlier this month.
In response, the company yesterday issued a statement in response to the situation in Honduras, in which the employees of two subcontracted factories were laid off. Nike had previously declined to pay the workers severance fees, and has long said that it could not be held responsible for what its subcontractors did.
But according to the statement, Nike agreed to contribute to a $1.5 million severance fund for the workers and also make available training programs for them.
The University of Wisconsin, for one, applauded Nike's move. "We're extremely pleased that Nike has found a way to make the workers whole," said the school's Labor Licensing Policy Committee liaison Dawn Crim in a statement.
This move may only be the tip of the iceberg for Nike. The AP reported in 2008 that conditions at a Malaysian Nike factory violated workers' rights. The company has also been attacked for worker treatment in China, Indonesia and Vietnam.
What do you think? Are colleges paving the road to change for Nike? Weigh in below.
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