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Nike Laid Off 1.4K American Workers Last Year, Outsourced NY Factory to Honduras

Nike Store Shanghai
Johannes Eisele/AFP

The multinational Nike corporation has a long history of outsourcing jobs, manufacturing, and production to the lowest wage foreign countries around the world, including China, Vietnam, and Honduras.

Last year, alone, Nike laid off about 1,400 American workers in its headquarters town of Beaverton, Oregon.

Phil Gold, who had worked for Nike for 15 years, told Oregon Live at the time of the layoffs that the corporation had no regard for the job that workers were doing and that the layoffs were all about executives cutting costs.

“They definitely targeted tenured, experienced employees as a money-saving thing with very little regard for how the work is going to get done. It wasn’t about performance,” Gold said.

Multinational corporations, like Nike, often lay off older employees to send their jobs — especially those in IT jobs as Gold was — overseas to low wage countries like India and Thailand to cut costs and drive up profit margins. Meanwhile, American workers are left behind trying to find work in industries that have been largely outsourced thanks to free trade and tiny trade barriers.

In 2015, a screen printing factory in Clarence, New York used by Nike to make T-shirts that once employed nearly 170 Americans announced it was closing up shop and sending the jobs to low wage Honduras. The average minimum wage worker in Honduras earns less than $8,000 a year.

For more than three and half decades, Nike has employed most of its workforce in low wage Vietnam and China, rather than the United States. For example, as of this year, Nike has 46 percent of its products produced in Vietnam, where the year minimum wage is close to $1,000. About 27 percent of its products are made in China, where the average worker earns less than $5,000 a year.

In Beaverton, Oregon — where Nike headquarters remain — the district lost more American jobs to Chinese outsourcing than any other district in the state. In the last ten years, about 21,000 American jobs in the region have been outsourced to China by multinational corporations like Nike.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.

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