Nike workers denied pay rise in Indonesia

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Nike factory in Indonesia

Several Nike goods suppliers have been accused of pressuring their employees to sign an agreement to renounce their new minimum wage, workers union leaders and a labor rights organisation have stated.

Indonesian authorities raised minimum wage to 2.2 million rupiah ($228) per month, matching that of Jakarta, in response to protests led by garment workers in 2012.

In the most extreme case reported, Educating for Justice, a US-based group focused on Nike workers’ rights, discovered that Nike’s Pratama factory in Sukabumi, 80 kilometers south of Jakarta, coerced mainly female garment employees to sign a document agreeing to forgo the pay rise while accompanied by high-ranking Indonesian military officials.

Indonesia is the third biggest producer of Nike goods, after Vietnam and China, with 40 factories employing 171,000 people, according to The Independent. Indonesian factory workers are amongst the lowest paid in Asia, often earning less than China or India.

The wage exemption being weaseled by factories will allow them to be able to pay their workers $3.70 per day instead of $4 per day.

EFJ director Jim Keady told the The Jakarta Globe that 18 union officials were duped into signing another agreement to except employers from adhering to wage rises.

“The unionists were invited to lunch [on Dec. 20] and when they arrived they were asked to sign what they believed was a sign-in sheet for the luncheon,” the director said.

Investigators for The Jakarta Globe believe that the Sukabumi incident was not isolated and similar acts of coercion occurred across multiple factories in Indonesia.

“Nike takes these claims seriously and company representatives are investigating the claims,” Greg Rossiter, a Nike spokesman, wrote in an email to The Huffington Post.

“The Nike Code of Conduct is very clear: Nike expects contract factory workers to be ‘paid at least the minimum wage required by country law and provided legally mandated benefits, including holidays and leaves, and statutory severance when employment ends.’”

Nike is no stranger to stepping into controversy over labour practices in Indonesia. A Nike factory in Serang previously failed to pay workers for 600,000 hours of overtime work over two years, according to The Guardian.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Nike factory in Indonesia

Several Nike goods suppliers have been accused of pressuring their employees to sign an agreement to renounce their new minimum wage, workers union leaders and a labor rights organisation have stated.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Nike factory in Indonesia

Several Nike goods suppliers have been accused of pressuring their employees to sign an agreement to renounce their new minimum wage, workers union leaders and a labor rights organisation have stated.

Indonesian authorities raised minimum wage to 2.2 million rupiah ($228) per month, matching that of Jakarta, in response to protests led by garment workers in 2012.

In the most extreme case reported, Educating for Justice, a US-based group focused on Nike workers’ rights, discovered that Nike’s Pratama factory in Sukabumi, 80 kilometers south of Jakarta, coerced mainly female garment employees to sign a document agreeing to forgo the pay rise while accompanied by high-ranking Indonesian military officials.

Indonesia is the third biggest producer of Nike goods, after Vietnam and China, with 40 factories employing 171,000 people, according to The Independent. Indonesian factory workers are amongst the lowest paid in Asia, often earning less than China or India.

The wage exemption being weaseled by factories will allow them to be able to pay their workers $3.70 per day instead of $4 per day.

EFJ director Jim Keady told the The Jakarta Globe that 18 union officials were duped into signing another agreement to except employers from adhering to wage rises.

“The unionists were invited to lunch [on Dec. 20] and when they arrived they were asked to sign what they believed was a sign-in sheet for the luncheon,” the director said.

Investigators for The Jakarta Globe believe that the Sukabumi incident was not isolated and similar acts of coercion occurred across multiple factories in Indonesia.

“Nike takes these claims seriously and company representatives are investigating the claims,” Greg Rossiter, a Nike spokesman, wrote in an email to The Huffington Post.

“The Nike Code of Conduct is very clear: Nike expects contract factory workers to be ‘paid at least the minimum wage required by country law and provided legally mandated benefits, including holidays and leaves, and statutory severance when employment ends.’”

Nike is no stranger to stepping into controversy over labour practices in Indonesia. A Nike factory in Serang previously failed to pay workers for 600,000 hours of overtime work over two years, according to The Guardian.

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