The average Nike factory worker in its Indonesian show factory makes $1.25 a day. Tiger Woods makes $55,555 a day working for Nike.

Educating for Justice directors Leslie Kretzu and Jim Keady spoke last night in Upper Strong Auditorium as part of their 2002 Nike Campaign National Speaking Tour. In addition to the two speakers, the presentation included video, audience participation in the form of role-playing and a question and answer period.

Stressing at the beginning that theirs was not an anti-Nike, but more of a pro-justice, campaign, they opened with a video displaying images of the living conditions in Indonesia, along with some facts about the world and its population. One example they cited was the fact that there are six billion people on our planet, three billion of whom earn less than the equivalent of two dollars a day.

Kretzu and Keady spent August 2000 living in a factory worker’s slum in Tangerang, Indonesia, where one of Nike’s shoe factories is located. Living on a typical wage for a factory employee ? the equivalent of $1.25 a day ? they struggled with everyday living. Keady lost 25 pounds in the month, while Kretzu lost 15.

After paying for the basics like housing and transportation, they were able to purchase 2 meals of rice and vegetables, a bag of peanuts, an iced tea, and a package of laundry detergent a day. “You may survive, but you will not live,” Keady said.

According to the talk, 90-95 percent of clothing is made in sweatshops. Indonesia, with a 40 percent unemployment rate, has a surplus of cheap labor. Big companies see this and take advantage.

Keady and Kretzu did not suggest that Nike abandon Indonesia, but that they provide a living wage for their workers, make arrangements for unionization, and provide independent sources to monitor working conditions. “$1.25 a day is just not enough,” said Ketzu. “A dollar per day raise could make all the difference.”

Keady and Kretzu stated that boycotting Nike won’t help. If they lose money or go out of business, no one benefits. The speakers provided a list of things that students can do to help. They said the most important thing is to become educated about the issues. They also suggested writing to Nike asking them to support their workers.

Keady also said that athletes’ opinions hold more weight on this topic because they are the ones who wear the apparel. Student can also contribute directly towards Education for Justice. They also have plans to buy Nike stock and sit in on the stockholder meetings

See NIKE, Page 26

ings and have their voices heard.

Kretzu charged college students with the responsibility to make changes. “One percent of the world has a college education,” she said. “You have extreme privilege, and with that comes responsibility. You have the power to make a change.”

Jim Keady, one of the leaders of Educating for Justice, is a former assistant soccer coach at St. John’s University. He became interested in the topic of sweatshops and decided that he no longer wanted to support Nike, which had a contract with St. John’s. As a result he decided to not wear Nike. On May 12, 1998 Keady was given an ultimatum by university officials, “Wear Nike and drop this issue publicly or resign.” He resigned. Since that time, hes worked actively as a outspoken critic of Nike and sweatshops.

Keady and Kretzu went on to form Educating for Justice to promote awareness of social injustice. Their current project is production of a full- length, independent documentary film that will detail their experiences in Indonesia.

On campus, the UR No-Sweat Coalition works to raise awareness about the issue. The group meets every week at 9 p.m. on the 5th floor of Wilson Commons.

Mincieli can be reached at mmincieli@campustimes.org



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