Peter Whoriskey. Published: July 28 2011
NORRIDGEWOCK, Maine — At the factory here owned by New Balance, the last major athletic shoe brand to manufacture footwear in the United States, even workers on the shop floor recognize that in purely economic terms, the operation doesn’t make sense.
The company could make far more money if, like Nike and Adidas, it shifted virtually all of these jobs to low-wage countries.
- Feb 2 2006 New Balance goes to China. See this NICNET report on labor conditions http://www.nlcnet.org/news/china/pdfs/Li_Kai_Report_Web.pdf New Balance claims "Made in the US" label, but this is a deal struck with a state legislature; actually most of New Balance production is outsourced. If you contrast what New Balance claims as its ethical code, with the stage-managed cheers, the ways
they union-bust, hire underaged women workers, etc. with this report you will see the difference bewteen IMAGE STORY CONTROL and the COUNTERSTORY resistance of the workers.
- The Federal Trade Commission has attempted to determine what it means to say a product is "made in" the United States. shoes produced in New Balance U.S. factories are made by U.S. workers using both U.S. and imported materials" (3. 4 ).
- New Balance defines "Made in US" U.S. as at least 70% of labor and materials (5 ).
- New Balance - "1994 we have increased our manufacturing jobs by 23%." (4 ).
- Pou Chen Corp. plant in Dongguan,
China. The factory makes Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Asics and other brands of shoes (Jeff Manning, Oregonian 1998 ).