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Congressional sign-off ltr.to NIike

/* Written  8:39 AM  Oct 27, 1997 by clr in igc:labr.announcem */
/* ---------- "Congressional sign-off ltr.to NIike" ---------- */
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Congressional Sign-On Letter to Nike

Please call your Congresspeople at 1-888-723-5246 (toll-free number) 
and ask
them to sign the letter to Nike now being circulated by Rep. Bernie Sanders
(I-VT) and Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) See press release, below. In the first
10 minutes of circulating the letter on the House floor, Rep. Sanders 
got 19

Note: Reps. Sanders and Kaptur are NOT calling for Nike to shut down its
Asian factories in order to provide jobs in the U.S. Both of these
Congresspeople believe that Nike has a responsibility to do right by its
existing workforce. The intent of their letter is that Nike should 
clean up
its sweatshop practices in Asia and should include the United States among
the sites for new expansion of production.

October 24, 1997

For Immediate Release

Congress of the United States
House of Representatives
Washington DC 20515-4501
Bernard Sanders

Member of Congress
Vermont, At Large
2202 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington DC 20515-4501


Congressman Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio)
announced today that they are circulating a letter for co-signatures to
members of Congress addressed to Nike CEO and President Philip Knight.  The
purpose of the letter is to ask Mr. Knight to meet with members of Congress
to discuss how his company can move forward to treat its Third World workers
with respect, dignity, and decent wages and start manufacturing athletic
shoes in the United States.

The Sanders-Kaptur letter states, "As members of the United States Congress
we are deeply disappointed and embarrassed that a company like Nike,
headquartered in the United States, could be so directly involved in the
ruthless exploitation of hundreds of thousands of desperate Third World
workers, most of whom are women."

Furthermore, the letter continues, "According to Forbes magazine, as the
primary owner of Nike you are now one of the wealthiest people in the world
- worth over $5 billion dollars.  Sadly, while your personal wealth
continues to grow, you maintain a labor strategy which pays workers in Asia
pennies an hour."

Importantly, Sanders and Kaptur are also urging Knight to begin
consideration of how his company can invest in sneaker factories in the
United States.  They pointedly stress; "While Nike employs hundreds of
thousands of people around the world to manufacture shoes, virtually none
of these manufacturing workers live in the United States.  Nike has led the
way in abandoning the manufacturing workers of the United States and their
families as it produces its products in low-wage Third World countries."

"As we see it, you want American workers and their children to purchase your
shoes," Sanders and Kaptur underscore, "but you don't believe that they
should earn a living wage by manufacturing them.  In community after
community across America, as the real wages of American workers 
continue to
decline, there are working people who desperately desire decent-paying jobs.
Nike could play an extraordinary role in rebuilding the manufacturing base
in St. Johnsbury, Vermont; Toledo, Ohio; Los Angeles, California or any 
of a
thousand other cities.  Yet, Nike travels the world in search of the
cheapest possible labor and turns its back on the very people you want to
buy your products.  Apparently, Nike believes that workers in the United
States are good enough to purchase your shoe products, but are no longer
worthy enough manufacture them."

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