We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

See how major sportswear brands rate on workers' rights

From Clearing the Hurdles website.
 ...in 2008, Play Fair and The Maquila Solidarity Network (MSN) published a report called Clearing the Hurdles: Steps to improving working conditions in the global sportswear industry. We identified four key hurdles facing workers in the sportswear industry and recommended four ways to overcome them:

   1. Develop a positive climate for freedom of association and collective bargaining;
   2. Eliminate the use of precarious employment in sportswear supply chains;
   3. Lessen both the frequency and negative impacts of factory closures; and
   4. Take steps to improve worker incomes, with the goal of reaching a living wage for all workers.

In these pages the Play Fair Campaign and MSN present responses from Nike, Adidas, Pentland, Puma, Lotto, New Balance, Asics and Mizuno on their willingness to meet 36 specific targets to overcome the four hurdles facing workers in the sportswear industry. Although company responses on all 36 proposals are available here, we are highlighting their responses on 12 key proposals that best illustrate the brand’s commitment to meeting the Play Fair targets. Where necessary we have summarized brand answers to fit in the allotted space, while providing access to the full answers (in the company's own words) via links below [adjacent to] each summary.

See the response chart.