The Australian clothing and footwear union is taking athletic footwear and clothing giant Nike Inc to court on Tuesday, alleging it has broken an agreement designed to allow the union to track down sweatshops. The Federal Court in Melbourne is scheduled to hold two days of hearings beginning on Tuesday on the case brought last year by the Textile Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia.The union argues that Nike has not upheld an industrial agreement which requires it to file lists of its manufacturing contractors so that the union can trace those contractors and their subcontracted workers.Nike, long a target of activists against exploitation of workers in developing countries, said it had written confirmations from all its manufacturing partners that they would not use homeworkers.The company said it would stop doing business with any contractor if it did use homeworkers.”Homeworkers are not used in the manufacture of Nike products. We strongly believe a factory environment allows Nike to ensure fair and equitable working conditions,” Nike Australia managing director Mel Sutton said in a statement.The union will be seeking the maximum penalty against Nike of A$10,000 per breach of the agreement.

Subscribe to Just Style

Join over 70,000 apparel industry professionals by unlocking full access for just £1 (plus VAT if applicable)

Already a Member? Login here

Just Style membership gives you:

  • Unlimited access to Just Style content including in-depth analysis, exclusive blogs, industry executive interviews and management briefings
  • Unbeatable market coverage from apparel sourcing and supply chain issues, to emerging markets and manufacturing
  • Unrivalled apparel industry comment from journalists including Leonie Barrie, Michelle Russell, Hannah Abdulla and Beth Wright.
Want multi-user access? Explore our multi-user & corporate memberships

70% of the apparel and textile companies in the Forbes Global 2000 use Just Style

Find out more