Monitoring Corporate Citizens
U.S. clothing and footwear companies have received criticism from the public for relying on factories in foreign countries that don't follow internationally accepted labor standards. Recently several major retail companies, including Nike and Reebok, agreed to allow the Fair Labor Assn. to inspect factories that make their products. It was found that these workers were underpaid, overworked, and kept from unionizing. Critics argue that self-regulation is not adequate because companies do not provide enough information about their findings and the ways in which they are attempting to address problems. Others see this as a positive step toward greater corporate responsibility. They argue that because there is no government regulation at the international level, that this is the next best alternative.