Jump to New Balance : Alerts;
• New Balance manufactures a quarter of its sportswear products in the US.
• Watchdog groups have expressed concerns over New Balance contractors in China. At one Chinese factory that is a major supplier for New Balance, workers were subjected to physical and verbal abuse, discrimination based on gender, age, height and the province they hailed from, long work hours, denial of legally required benefits, and routine 10 hour shifts, six days a week.
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-- Profile Updated 07/01/2010
About New Balance
New Balance Athletic Shoe, headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, manufactures men's and women's running, cross-training, basketball, tennis, hiking, and golf shoes, as well as a line of athletic apparel and children's shoes. In FY 2005, New Balance reported revenues of $1.54 billion and employed 2,800 people.
There are no known affiliates associated with New Balance .
Contact New Balance
Boston, MA 02135-2088 USA
In 2001 investigators from the National Labor Committee visited Taiwan-owned Lizhan Footwear Factory in southern China's Guangdong province. The company had enrolled in Social Accountability International (SAI), which prescribes specific performance standards in nine key areas that include health and safety, discrimination, working hours and compensation through its SA8000 certification. The goal of SA8000 is to raise public awareness about inhumane work conditions in developing nations. Investigators found dormitory rooms packed with up to 28 people and work shifts that normally ran to 12 hours. When workers went on strike over long hours and low wages, according to the NLC investigators, they were all fired. Workers had also been coached to lie to SA8000 inspectors.
SAI removed Lizhan, a major contractor for New Balance, from its list of approved factories. But rather than pressure Lizhan to clean up its act, New Balance shifted its production in Guangdong to a new uncertified factory right next door called Likai Footwear, according to company officials. It is owned by the same Taiwan investor that owns Lizhan
-- Far Eastern Economic Review, 02/01/2006
Source URL: www.nlcnet.org/article.php?id=105
A joint report by the National Labor Committee and China Labor Watch entitled “New Balance Goes to China,” details working conditions at Di Chang, a Li Kai owned factory in Hongyuan, China. Li Kai is a major supplier of New Balance footwear. On average, one Li Kai factory supplies 12 million pairs of shoes each year. Labor rights violations included the following:
- Illegal discrimination based on gender, age, height, province, and origin
- Wages below subsistence level. Workers earn $0.40 an hour, $3.22 a day. After mandatory deductions for dorm and food expenses, daily earnings drop to $2.55 at most
- Routine 10 hour shifts, six days a week
- Mandatory overtime shifts, without full overtime pay
- Denial of paid holidays, marriage and bereavement leaves, to which Chinese workers are legally entitled
- Lack of benefit rights for workers such as health insurance, work injury insurance and pension programs
- Physical and verbal abuse
The National Labor Committee and China Labor Watch argue that New Balance should use its relationship with Li Kai to improve conditions at factories where standards have been abandoned.
-- China Labor Watch, 02/01/2006