SBD/15/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

WORKERS, CRITICS, TAKE CLOSER LOOK AT NIKE INITIATIVES

          Nike faces "a tough sales job" for its factory-
     improvement program, judging by "skeptical reactions" from
     Indonesian Nike workers, according to Richard Read of the
     Portland OREGONIAN, reporting from a Nike-contracted factory
     in Tangerang, Indonesia.  Factory worker Dominguez Pirida:
     "What can you expect from something grand like this from
     Nike?  Factory managers lie so often, I don't think I can
     trust it."  More Pirida: "I don't really know what to think
     of [Nike Chair] Phil Knight.  Even during Nike's heyday, the
     wage increases were meager" (OREGONIAN, 5/14).
          OTHER VIEWS: In Portland, an OREGONIAN editorial stated
     that Nike "gets it now," and that its planned reforms "seem
     significant. ... Give Nike credit for doing better by its
     workers -- and for potentially setting a new, higher
     standard for other companies doing business in the world's
     poorest countries" (OREGONIAN, 5/14).  The Minnesota STAR
     TRIBUNE editorializes that Nike's announcement "is plainly a
     victory for its Asian workers and for human-rights
     advocates."  It states: "Nike has been an industry pioneer
     in one concept after another -- global sourcing, celebrity
     endorsements, saturation marketing.  This week's
     announcement should pave the way for another industry trend:
     a framework for globalization that serves the shoemaker in
     Vietnam as well the shoe buyer in Minneapolis" (Minneapolis
     STAR TRIBUNE, 5/15).  A DETROIT FREE PRESS editorial states
     that Nike's "laudable efforts are only a few of many
     important changes Nike needs to make," including raising the
     minimum wage at its factories: "The changes announced this
     week are a good start -- but should be just a start.  Come
     on, Nike.  Just do it" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 5/15).  In N.Y.,
     Phil Mushnick writes that for a company that "for years
     insisted that there are no problems in its Third World
     factories, Nike now seems extremely eager to let us know
     that it plans to spend a lot of time and money to fix
     problems that don't exist" (N.Y. POST, 5/15). 
  
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