|JUST DOING IT?
CEO Phil Knight answers questions on
Nike's new labor initiatives.
May 22, 1998
in this forum:
Will Nike agree to the use of a 3rd party auditor? What is Nike's position on uninionization in their Asian factories? How do we know the incidents in the factories are not an uncommon practice of there culture? Do any other shoe manufacturers do it differently? Why are you defensive when you are supplying jobs to people? Are you providing a livable wage? Don't you think it's a little hypocritical to be making these changes now? How does your product get marked up so high? Do Nike critics have another agenda? Steve Grube of Aptos, CA asks: Nike and most other off-shore manufacturers could really improve their image if they would agree to use a third-party auditor rather than their own accounting firm from the "big 5" firms. Will Nike agree to the use of a 3rd party auditor that is also agreeable to its critics?
A Spokesperson from Nike responds:
One of the initiatives we announced last week during Phil Knight's National Press Club speech was the fact that Nike will expand on our current independent monitoring system to include non-governmental organizations. We recognize the positive role that NGOs can play in conducting audits in the factory and we are working hard to put this into effect.
We also believe that the audits Ernst & Young and Price Waterhouse have already conducted in our factories have been extremely worthwhile, and it will be something we will continue to do. They've helped us pinpoint improvements we need to make and we've taken the appropriate steps.
It's important to remember that CPA firms by their very nature are independent. That is the primary reason for their existence. If they weren't independent, we'd have a much bigger problem on our hands than Nike foreign factory relations: the whole New York Stock Exchange would be built on a fraud.