Daily Caller patriots exclusive content
Analysis

5 Pro-‘Black Lives Matter’ Companies Accused Of Using Slave Labor

(Ozan Kose/AFP via Getty Images)

Varun Hukeri General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
Font Size:

Corporate America responded to the “Black Lives Matter” movement by publishing statements of solidarity on social media platforms and pledging to reform company policies in order to increase diversity and racial equity in the workplace.

Some of these corporations, however, have also been accused of profiting from slave labor in China. These practices reportedly target the country’s Uighur Muslim minority, who primarily live in the western region of Xinjiang. Uighurs in China have been the target of re-education programs and human rights abuses in recent years, according to numerous reports.

Here are some of the companies that have endorsed “Black Lives Matter” but are accused of benefiting from Uighur slave labor.

Nike

“We know Black Lives Matter. We must educate ourselves more deeply on the issues faced by Black communities and understand the enormous suffering and senseless tragedy racial bigotry creates,” said Nike chief executive John Donahoe in a statement June 5.

Nike also said its affiliate brands would commit $40 million over four years to “support the Black community in the U.S.” The money is slated to go to civil rights organizations and groups that promote social justice, according to The Hill.

Nike has been accused of profiting from forced labor in Xinjiang through its China-based supplier Taekwang Group. It was reported earlier this year that Uighur Muslims were producing components of Nike’s signature Air Max at forced labor camps, according to The Washington Post.

Nike released a statement in March that said the company was working with “multi-stakeholder working groups” to assess its supply chains and address the “critical global issue” of forced labor. Nike also said Taekwang stopped hiring employees from Xinjiang in 2019 and denied there was forced labor at Taekwong facilities in the city of Qingdao.

Apple

“To the Black community — we see you. You matter and your lives matter,” Apple chief executive Tim Cook wrote in an open letter published June 4 on the company’s website. The company also announced June 11 it would be donating $100 million to a racial equity and justice initiative focusing on education, economic equality and criminal justice reform, CNET reported.

Music and video streaming service Apple Music posted messages of solidarity on social media that included “Black Lives Matter” hashtags.

Apple has been accused of profiting from forced labor after a report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute earlier this year found evidence of forced labor at four factories owned by Apple’s partner Foxconn in the city of Zhengzhou, Business Insider reported. The report indicated at least 2,700 Uighur people had been transferred to the factories since 2017.

The company said it had investigated the claims and “found no evidence of any forced labour on Apple production lines,” BBC News reported. Apple also said it would “continue monitoring” its supply chains.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook told a House Judiciary subcommittee in July he would not tolerate forced labor in the company’s supply chains, according to the Guardian. (RELATED: Here’s How China Is Treating People In Its Concentration Camps)

Adidas

“It’s time to own up to our silence: Black Lives Matter,” Adidas said in a series of tweets June 10. The company also said it would tackle hiring bias by filling half of its open positions with people of “diverse talent” and filling 30% of its open positions with black and Latino people.

Adidas also committed $120 million over the next four years to sustainability initiatives and financing 50 scholarships a year for black students, CBS News reported.

Adidas has been accused of profiting from forced labor after it was reported that the supply chains of major clothing companies ran through a mill operated in Aksu, Xinjiang by the China-based subsidiary Huafu Fashion, according to the Wall Street Journal. The mill reportedly used Uighur forced labor to produce yarn.

An Adidas spokeperson told BBC News in July that the company was auditing its supply chains to find evidence of forced labor. “We advised our material suppliers to place no orders with Huafu until we have completed those investigations,” the spokesperson said.

Adidas also said its “workplace standards strictly prohibit all forms of forced and prison labour and are applicable to all companies across [its] supply chain,” BBC News reported. The company said it would terminate relationships with any partner that used forced labor.

PVH

“The time for change is now because Black lives matter,” PVH chief executive Manny Chirico wrote in a statement June 11. Formerly known as Philips-Van Heusen, the company owns prominent clothing brands like Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger.

PVH and its affiliated companies also said they would be launching new initiatives to address corporate diversity and social justice issues, CNBC reported. (RELATED: ‘Black Lives Matter’: Is This The First Corporate-Sponsored Marxist Revolution In History?)

PVH companies Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger have been accused of profiting from forced labor after a report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute earlier this year found evidence of forced labor being used by China-based subsidiaries to produce cotton. Xinjiang produced more than 80% of China’s cotton, according to Reuters.

PVH said “forced labor is considered a zero-tolerance issue” in a statement released July. The company also said “any confirmed instances of forced labor by [its] suppliers may result in termination of the business relationship.”

Xinjiang was also added to the company’s Restricted Country Policy, the statement read. PVH said no finished goods are produced in Xinjiang under the policy, and the company and its affiliates would continue to cut ties with any Xinjiang-based cotton factories, Reuters reported.

H&M

“We stand with and support the Black Community — today, everyday and everywhere to end racism in all forms,” read a statement released June 1 on the H&M US website.

H&M also announced it would donate $500,000 to various civil rights groups and historically black colleges in order to “fight for justice, economic rights and empowerment of the Black Community.”

H&M has been accused of profiting from forced labor after the Global Legal Action Network, a group of human rights lawyers, reported the company was one of several that sourced cotton from producers in Xinjiang using forced labor. It was also reported that products made from Xinjiang cotton were being sold in the U.K., according to the Guardian.

The clothing giant said some of their cotton was likely sourced from Xinjiang in collaboration with the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), a non-profit organization, The Independent reported. BCI reportedly withdrew from operations in Xinjiang in March after announcing they no longer had “credible assurance” that workers’ rights were being met.

H&M said it would no longer source cotton from the region and was reviewing an indirect relationship with a yarn producer operating in Xinjiang, the Guardian reported.