Fighting the local bosses and the big brands

Submitted by Anon on 27 June, 2005 - 11:36

By Katrina, FNPBI, Indonesia

The Katexindo factory is located in North Jakarta. The workers produce clothes for well-known brands such as GAP, Polo, Ralph Laurent, Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger.

Unlike hundreds of garment factories that have been hit by the current crisis, Katexindo seems in a stable condition.

Recently they have been making clothes for Polo. The workers had been producing at a rate of 60 items per hour, but the company raised the quota to 85 items an hour.

And although the Polo code of conduct states that all workers should work in a safe and sanitary environment, the workers lack an access to clean drinking water. Safe, clear water is only available to the management and the factory’s owners.

And the workers’ right to a union and freedom of association is bring denied.

The workers have organised meetings and educationals in order to understand their rights and have affiliated to FNPBI (National Front of Indonesian workers’ struggle) led by Dita Sari.

As a response management intimidated the unionised workers.

On 14-16 May, 2500 workers of Katexindo, mostly woman, occupied the factory. They won some demands: about overtime payments and meal allowances.

But after the strike 80 Katexindo workers were sacked by the company. These 80 workers are people who actively initiated the union in their factory.

The workers refused to accept the victimisations, and 1,000 workers spontaneously turned off the machinery and marched to the South Jakarta district of the Labour Department to demand their rights. However, the workers remain fired.

Labour disputes are quite common in Indonesia, where about 40 million people are jobless or underemployed out of a population of 212 million.

  • Send a protest fax to Katexindo employers to 62-21-44820137, or send a solidarity message to the workers: katarina_fnpbi@yahoo.com

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