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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 May 2007, 20:55 GMT 21:55 UK
Nike vows crackdown on overtime
Factory in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, which produces Nike goods
Nike now publishes details of how it audits factory conditions
Nike has pledged to crack down on the amount of overtime done at factories it uses worldwide as part of efforts to improve working conditions.

The sportswear firm will seek to abolish "excessive" overtime at its 700 contract factories by 2011, a move which would affect 800,000 workers.

Nike gave details of all such factories for the first time in 2005 after claims of poor conditions at some plants.

The firm has also set new targets for reducing waste and carbon emissions.

Compliance standards

Publishing its annual corporate responsibility report, Nike said the issue of excessive overtime was one of the "most serious" facing the company and the industry as a whole.

Nike uses more than 130 factories in China, where unpaid overtime is common.

We see corporate responsibility as a catalyst for growth and innovation
Mark Parker
Nike chief executive

Its other major contractors, which manufacture Nike-branded products ranging from trainers to footballs, include India, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brazil and Indonesia.

Nike said improving conditions at these factories was a priority, citing its decision to publish details of its procedure for auditing their compliance with its standards on pay, working conditions and employee benefits.

Earlier this month Nike said it was resuming production of hand-stitched leather footballs in Pakistan, previously suspended due to concerns about the use of child labour.

"We see corporate responsibility as a catalyst for growth and innovation," said Nike's chief executive Mark Parker.

"It is an integral part of how we can use the power of our brand and the scale of our business to create meaningful change."

Separately, Nike said it had set new targets for reducing waste in its business, mainly stemming from product design and packaging, by 2011.

The firm has also pledged to become "climate neutral" by the same date, adding that it had exceeded its carbon reduction targets over the past two years.

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