By  on July 27, 2010

WASHINGTON — Apparently bowing to pressure from labor rights groups and universities over its responsibilities at contract factories, Nike Inc. reached an agreement Monday to pay $1.5 million into a fund for workers displaced by two factory closures in Honduras.

Nike’s action is a reversal of its stance in April, when the company said the contract factories bore sole responsibility for paying the workers’ severance and that “Nike will not be paying severance to workers that were employed by Hugger and Vision Tex.” Workers rights and student organizations alleged that 1,800 workers at two factories contracted by Nike to manufacture licensed apparel for universities and colleges were laid off in January 2009 without proper notice and without legally mandated severance. Nike did not own either factory.

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