An activist shareholder of sportswear giant Nike has outlined in an open letter that it is concerned about the company’s lack of response surrounding forced labour in its supply chain.
Tulipshare, a shareholder activist investment platform and a long-term shareholder of Nike, addressed the company’s board of directors in the letter, in which it noted that its recent attempts to contact the investor relations team had failed, stating that its unresponsiveness demonstrated a willingness to ignore shareholders.
The firm is requesting for Nike to comment on its efforts to eradicate forced labour in its operations and value chains, and calls on the brand to adopt the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
While Tulipshare noted that it appreciated that Nike had made some commitments to making changes in the past, it was “concerned by the lack of transparency relating to Nike’s disclosures on whether the company is on track to meet certain targets”.
Among the firm’s concerns were that of Nike potentially lacking a remediation process for aggrieved workers, its poor rating and engagement in the KnowTheChain A&F benchmark, in which it scored 62 out of 100 points, and its low score in the 2021 Fashion Transparency Index, highlighting there was more the brand could be doing to ensure safeguarding.
Tulipshare concluded: “We call on Nike to actively engage and collaborate with investors and stakeholders in identifying, assessing, and avoiding actual or potential human rights abuses that may significantly disrupt the company’s business, competitive advantage, and the livelihoods of many workers.”