Your story on Nike Inc.'s production practices in Indonesia greatly understates the impact of our efforts on behalf of subcontracted workers ("Pangs of conscience," International Business, July 29). The facts are that Nike subcontractors, on a 25-day wage scale, are already paying minimums above $2.59 and average wages of $4.76. Meanwhile, factories that shifted to the new 30-day minimum wage took away bonuses to compensate for the increase--bonuses that Nike subcontractors continue to pay for attendance, productivity improvements, and transportation fees, in addition to free meals and medical care.
This compensation is fair. Ongoing, independent audits by Ernst & Young show workers accumulate significant savings. At what the article refers to as the "hell" of Nikomas Gemilang, a December, 1994, audit found 60% of line workers save more than 25% of their monthly pay. In addition, wages have risen 44% since the audit.