Nike’s new plan to accommodate working moms and dads is apparently backfiring.
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Hundreds of employees are roasting the footwear giant for expanding its child development program — a company perk that includes an on-site day care facility at Nike’s headquarters near Portland, Oregon. Currently, there are more than 500 families taking advantage of the decades-old subsidized program and hundreds more on a waiting list to get in, Bloomberg reports.
In order to grow its successful program and accommodate those who are hoping to get in, Nike is reportedly planning to shut down its on-site day care facility and move into a larger building down the road.
The new location will be hosted by Nike’s partner, Endeavor Schools, though the athletics company will still be overseeing the day-to-day operations.
Endeavor Schools has reported a whopping 716 percent revenue growth over the past three years, calling itself one of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S.
“One of our key ingredients for growth is the care and dedication we offer to our wonderful employees, who mainly consist of passionate educators with a calling to help unleash student potential,” Ricardo Campo, CEO of Endeavor Schools, said in a recent news release.
But not all Nike workers are thrilled by the move.
A petition has been circulating around the company in recent weeks demanding Nike to keep the children’s program on Nike’s Beaverton campus. According to Bloomberg, more than 1,300 people, including dozens of parents on the waitlist, have signed the document.
Some employees have complained about the inconvenience, others are concerned about changes that could be implemented under Endeavor Schools.
It’s not exactly clear what would happen to the staff members — teachers, caregivers, etc. — that are running the current on-site program, though questions about that have been raised as well. A person familiar with the expansion plan told Bloomberg those workers have been offered $10,000 bonuses to stay throughout the duration of the transition and will be offered gigs at the new location, though they may lose some benefits in the process.
“We don’t want to sacrifice service, we don’t want to sacrifice quality,” Sandra Carreon-John, a spokesperson for Nike, assured Bloomberg. “At the end of the day, Nike’s not child care experts. We’re working with people who are.”
Carreon-John said the move would not be immediate.
“We wanted to give parents as much advanced notice as possible. This is not happening overnight, but is between 18 and 24 months away,” she told Fast Company, adding that many parents are thrilled with the plan, particularly those who will make it off the waitlist.
Nike did not immediately respond to Fox Business’ request for further comment on Friday afternoon.
Nike’s child development team provides children, from infants to 5-year-olds, with educational activities throughout the day.
“Easy access to Nike’s facilities and grounds offer opportunities for movement and activities, and Child Development employees often participate in on-campus farmer’s markets, athlete visits and other events. Employees’ expertise in early education, child psychology and other areas help give each child’s development a running start,” explains Nike on its website.