Workers Protest Nike in Indonesia
Monday July 16, 10:07 am ET
By Irwan Firdaus, Associated Press Writer
Thousands of Workers Demand Nike Scrap Plans to Cut Shoe Orders From Indonesian Suppliers
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) -- Factory workers demonstrated outside Nike Inc.'s Indonesian headquarters on Monday, demanding the shoemaker scrap plans to cut orders from two local suppliers.
Workers said 14,000 jobs will be threatened if Nike reduces orders from producers PT Hardaya Aneka Shoes Industry and Nagasakti Paramashoes Industry.
Protesters wearing blue uniforms waved banners. One said "Nike Lies."
In a statement, Nike said it is increasing manufacturing in Indonesia but was scaling back orders from the two producers because of
"consistent inability to meet the company's minimum product quality and delivery standard for two years."
Nike, which is based in Beaverton, Ore., said it will continue to source 20 percent of its footwear manufacturing in Indonesia, but will phase out supplies from the two factories over the next nine months.
"Nike will work with union representatives from both factories to assist in educating workers on their legal rights," it said.
A representative of the workers said their position was explained to Nike officials during talks, but that no agreement was reached on their demands.
Agus Darsono, a floor supervisor at one of the two manufacturers, said the demonstrators "reject Nike's plans to cut production." He spoke over the din of chants from the crowd gathered at the Jakarta Stock Exchange where Nike has its offices.
"The quality of our shoes is good. Workers have been trained at the factory in Vietnam," he said.
Nike is the primary client of the two factories. Its move to cut orders could effectively kill production.
Cutting production at Nagasakti Paramashoes Industry from 650,000 pairs per month to 200,000 by early 2008 "could send us home," Agus said.
Nike has been active in Indonesia since 1989. There are 115,000 Indonesian workers employed by contract factories manufacturing Nike products.