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NEW AIR FOR NIKE? COMPANY DRAWS PRAISE FOR IMPROVING PLANTS

          Univ. of CA environmental researcher Dara O'Rourke
     "applauded" Nike for "improving ventilation" at a company-
     contracted plant in Vietnam, 18 months after he disclosed
     that the "air in parts of" the plant had "levels of cancer-
     causing substances that exceeded local standards by 177
     times," according to Steven Greenhouse of the N.Y. TIMES. 
     O'Rouke also credited Nike with reducing the "use of
     hazardous chemicals and training managers on safety issues"
     at the plant.  O'Rourke "praised Nike for a turnaround," but
     said that "some significant problems remained."  Nike Dir of
     Labor Relations Dusty Kid said that the factory was "an
     average factory, not a model one," and that Nike "would
     allow" O'Rourke to visit "any of its" 37 factories in Asia. 
     Human rights group Global Exchange, one of Nike's "harshest
     and most persistent critics," also credited the company
     yesterday for "improving conditions and for letting an
     outside monitor inspect" the plant (N.Y. TIMES, 3/12). 
          KNIGHT MOVES: Nike Chair Phil Knight said that the
     company "will disclose the location of all its foreign
     factories if competitors agree to do the same thing." 
     Knight sent letters to presidents of universities with Nike
     contracts, "calling on them to join the effort to 'ensure
     that licensed products bearing the names and logos of
     schools are manufactured under fair conditions'" (AP, 3/12). 
        
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