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Fair Labor Association statement on factory access for the Worker Rights Consortium

The Fair Labor Association (FLA) welcomes Nike’s agreement with Georgetown University to provide factory access to the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC) to follow up on reports of issues related to working conditions in specific Nike collegiate supplier facilities.

This protocol is part of a new licensing contract between Nike and Georgetown University. Licensed products for U.S. colleges and universities generate more than $5 billion in annual retail revenue and are manufactured in thousands of factories around the world. For the past 17 years, the Fair Labor Association has partnered with more than 180 colleges and universities to improve conditions for workers in these factories through our comprehensive programs.

Having a real and lasting impact requires a sustained and systematic approach.  The FLA has built extensive capacity and expertise in identifying labor issues and working with companies and factories to address them in sustainable ways.  Our global staff, in partnership with a network of FLA-accredited external monitoring organizations and assessors, operates in dozens of countries. Our programs reach nearly 4,000 factories that employ more than 4.5 million workers. In 2016, the FLA conducted almost 150 in-depth, independent assessments of factories in 27 countries and transparently reported the results and remediation plans on our website. 

The 2,500 college and university licensees affiliated with the FLA source from thousands of factories, both directly and through intermediaries.  Developing programs to monitor this vast network of factories and craft meaningful remedies when abuses occur is a massive task, and we welcome the WRC’s contribution to these efforts. 

Improving conditions in factories and protecting the rights of workers is the FLA’s mission, and this is best accomplished through comprehensive programs that include sustained monitoring, remediation, and verification.  We look forward to continuing to pursue these goals in close partnership with the university community and the thousands of companies whose products bear their names. 

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