Bad ’air day

Bad ’air day

imageNike, Inc. is an American multinational corporate behemoth and growth company, which uses the religion of sport in a furtive attempt to move the world forward. The organisation proselytises an equitable and sustainable future, where everyone thrives on a healthy planet and level playing field. This elysian paradise is reinforced via a symbolic and puritanical statement from its chief executive officer, which is littered with Bernaysian corporate hogwash masquerading as truth in an insatiable quest for moral rectitude. Irrespective of the commodity, the common objective of global conglomerates is to maximise profit and socialise loss, which is the established standard or creed that inspires contemporary corporate culture. 18

During the 1990s Nike attracted significant adverse publicity, which was influenced by the Situationist International movement and included extensive criticism from Canadian activist Naomi Klein. It was directed at its extremely rapid growth, escalating profits and use of alternative manufacturing facilities in developing countries with the callous exploitation of vulnerable workers, especially women and children. The initial corporate response was to disregard its common law duty of care and it received unequivocal support from the Mises Institute, an extreme right libertarian and anarcho-capitalist institute. 917

Following mass protests and campaigns from humanitarian activists and advocacy groups, Nike eventually responded by developing a code of conduct and monitoring conditions at manufacturing facilities. However, even established and well respected organisations such as the International Occupational Health Commission are usurped by multinational corporate interests and reports suggest the process is merely a veneer of respectability. It indicates the conglomerate has engaged in a race to the bottom and significant concerns regarding the integrity of factory surveys or inspections have since emerged. Indeed, manufacturing has been relocated to underdeveloped nations without any labour standards or legislation covering health, safety or environmental obligations. The company takes its name from the Greek goddess of victory and despite the rhetoric on sustainability, there is only one winner in its culture of casino capitalism. It is somewhat paradoxical but in 1861 President Lincoln delivered a speech to a joint session of congress, which proclaimed labour was superior to capital and merits much more appreciation.

Indeed, in the current Safe Work Australia strategy its vision advocates healthy, safe and productive working lives and states…..It has been shown that good work health and safety improves long term business productivity. The Safety Institute of Australia is even more mercenary and proclaims its vision is for safe and healthy people in productive workplaces. This would surely conflict with any code of ethics, if it had one…………O say can you see by the dawn’s early light. What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming. 1836

 

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