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Nike investors vote against pay equity and human rights proposals

By Rachel Douglass


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Nike logo. Credits: Nike.

Nike is continuing to face scrutiny for its handling of allegations of pay inequity and human rights misconduct, with the sportswear giant’s investors now understood to have voted against proposals that aimed to resolve such issues.

The company had seen increased pressure from two activist investors in recent months, each calling on Nike to reevaluate its approach to social-related issues with suppliers.

One proposal, filed by Tulipshare, had requested for Nike’s board to analyse the effectiveness of its supply chain management infrastructure to align with its human rights commitments and address its equity goals.

Meanwhile, a second proposal issued by investment adviser Arjuna Capital, called on Nike to provide more data on pay equity for female and minority workers.

Nike had initially denied any wrongdoing, and it now appears that executives behind the company are continuing to stay firm on this stance.

Investors voted against both the proposals brought forward by Tulipshare and Arjuna Capital during an annual meeting this week, each of which had failed to receive the required 50 percent vote, according to a preliminary tally seen by Reuters.

To add further pressure on Nike, another group of investors, which included ABN AMRO and CCLA Investment Management, had requested prior to the meeting that the company address allegations of wage theft at two of its factories that reportedly amounted to 2.2 million dollars.

This came after a labour rights group reported that it had lost wages following pandemic-related shutdowns of the factories that left garment workers in Cambodia and Thailand without pay.

Nike had denied the allegations in a statement to Reuters, where it said it had not sourced product from the Cambodian factory since 2006, and it had found “no evidence” that it owed workers in Thailand.

Human rights