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posted November 9, 1999

Labor Alerts (5,000 subscribers): a free service of
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In this alert:
New report on Nike
Nike video and speaker available in Midwest
Sweatshop activist organizing packet


In August, Jeff Ballinger of Press for Change led a delegation to Indonesia
to meet with representatives of independent unions and non-governmental
organizations, as well as to initiate an important new survey of Nike shoe

Following is a small selection of the now-completed survey's results. For a
copy of the full report, contact Press for Change
<>, (617) 496-6423. See also the Press for Change
web site <>.



NIKE CLAIMS: 75% of Nike shoe workers in Indonesia earn an average of
400,000 Rupiah per month.

REFERENCES: See <http//>, where Nike
spokesperson Maria Eitel says that a "majority" earn an average of 400,000.
See also "PR NEWSWIRE" Nike press release March 23, 1999, where Nike
spokesperson Vada Manager is quoted on the 75% figure.

SURVEY FINDINGS: 1,939 of the 2,300 Nike shoe workers interviewed are
earning between 250,000 and 300,000 Rupiah ($35-42) per month. Only ONE
PERCENT of the workers surveyed is earning 400,000 or above!

Abusive behavior:

SURVEY FINDINGS: 1,309 shoe workers (57 percent of those surveyed) reported
seeing another worker being mistreated or yelled at.

Forced overtime:

SURVEY FINDINGS: 818 complained about forced overtime.

Also included in the survey:

NIKE GARMENT WORKERS: 1,200 Nike garment workers.

BATA SHOE WORKERS: For comparison, the survey also included 500 shoe
workers at Bata - a Canadian company with a much better labor record (and
with higher wages, even though Bata manufactures cheap sports shoes for the
Indonesian market!)


JEFF BALLINGER ADDS: Nike spokesperson, Vada Manager, was

emphatic when he
told Penn State's "Daily Collegian" last spring that a Nike manager was
always in the factory when Nike shoes or apparel are being produced. When
we were in the Nikomas [Nike] factory complex at the start of this survey
work ... we asked the Taiwanese manager to see the Nike person. He replied
that he had already gone home (it was around 6:15 p.m.). We noticed that
thousands of workers were coming back into the factory after a short break;
many we spoke to said that they would be working until 9 p.m.


Campaign for Labor Rights Midwest is organizing a short speaking tour in
the Midwest December 1-7. Midwest regional organizer Emily LaBarbera-Twarog
will show a video and talk about the international campaign in support of
justice and empowerment for Nike workers.

The video features an interview with Haryanto, who was fired because of his
activities as a union organizer in the Lintas factory in Indonesia, which
manufactures Nike shoes. Among the other activities for which he was fired,
Haryanto passed out Nike's code of conduct to other workers.

Haryanto decided to form a real union in the factory when he and 7
co-workers were injured by the same defective machine (Haryanto lost two
fingers on his right hand) and when the government-controlled union
demonstrated that it was interested only in quelling worker unrest.

Haaryanto's testimony and a sign-on letter to Nike were included in a
Campaign for Labor Rights alert posted on October 30. If you do not have a
copy of this alert and would like it emailed to you, send a request to

TO BRING THE TOUR TO YOUR COMMUNITY, contact our Midwest office: (773)
252-6413, <>. Hosting organizations will need to
provide lodging (if outside Chicago), meals and an honorarium: $100 for
community presentations, $300 for campus presentations.


The third installment of the 1999 Sweatshop Activist Organizing Packet has
been completed. Everyone who ordered the packet earlier automatically
receives the updates. Anyone ordering now receives the third installment,
plus whatever is still current from installments 1 and 2. Order by email
<> or phone (541) 344-5410. Include your postal address: Packet
is in hard copy. Packet includes donation form and return envelope.
Suggested donation: $10.00.

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