Mon, 11 Sep 2000

Nike's commitment

The article titled Nike workers in RI an issue in Olympics, published in The Jakarta Post on Sept. 5, 2000, does a disservice to your readers and to Indonesian business.

Nike has been committed to improving work place conditions in Indonesia for several years, and will continue these efforts despite attempts by publicly declared critics to find ways to generate negative news coverage of our efforts. At the very least, your readers deserve to know that Mr. Keady is a principal in a lawsuit filed against Nike in the United States almost a year ago, and that he publicly stated before coming to Indonesia that his intention was to expose poor treatment of our contract factory workers.

Given his mission, is it, therefore, surprising that he "found" exploitation, intimidation and harassment of workers? You should note that he has not provided specific information that would allow independent clarification. And what did he ignore? Here are a few of the things Indonesian factories making Nike products are doing, and have been doing, in some cases for years, some of which the Post has reported on. * Together with the Indonesian Ministry of Education and our factory partners, Nike is providing an after-hours education program for workers who have not completed their formal elementary, junior and senior high school studies. This program has been praised by the government of Indonesia as a step forward in eliminating illiteracy. * While being sensitive to the local economic condition and issues, our footwear factory contractors have increased minimum wages above the locally mandated wage four times in the past two years, as well as eliminating the lower training wage and providing benefits and supplements for workers so that they are better able to support other family members, including children. * Nike contract factories have begun the implementation of an occupational health care survey in cooperation with International SOS. The survey assesses the occupational health issues at the factory, as well as the function of the factory medical clinic. International SOS then makes recommendations and works with the factory to address the areas found to need improvements.

* In late June 2000, Nike provided on-site factory visits and facilities so that local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), some of which have been highly critical of Nike, could receive training in how to monitor health and safety issues. More than 40 representatives from various local NGOs and workers unions participated.

These are very difficult times for all Indonesians. We are proud of the efforts our factory partners have made. While other multinationals chose to leave, Nike publicly declared its intention to stay and support stability and job creation here. More than 110,000 Indonesians work in 11 footwear, 13 apparel and three equipment factories making Nike products, which we believe is a significant factor in helping this country and its people built a future.

With leadership comes responsibility, and while we acknowledge that our process is not perfect, the reforms that have taken place, and the lengths to which we've gone to ensure compliance and monitoring are as accurate as possible, demonstrates our commitment to continuous improvement.


Manufacturing General Manager

Nike Inc., Indonesia