Nike Workers Kicked, Slapped and Verbally Abused at Factories Making Converse

Editors Online
February 1, 2013 2:57 pm

They’re one of the world’s top sports clothing brands, but for years Nike have been dogged by allegations of sweatshops and child labour. Now workers making Nike’s Converse shoes at a factory in Indonesia say they are being physically and mentally abused.

Workers at the Sukabumi plant, about 60 miles from Jakarta, say supervisors frequently throw shoes at them, slap them in the face, kick them and call them dogs and pigs. Nike admits that such abuse has occurred among the contractors that make its hip high-tops but says there was little it could do to stop it.

Dozens of interviews by The Associated Press, and a document released by Nike, show the company has a long way to go to meet the standards it set for itself a decade ago to end its reliance on sweatshop labour.

One worker at the Taiwanese-operated Pou Chen plant in Sukabumi said she was kicked by a supervisor last year after making a mistake while cutting rubber for soles.

We’re powerless, said the woman, who like several others interviewed spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear of reprisals. Our only choice is to stay and suffer, or speak out and be fired. The 10,000 mostly female workers at the Taiwanese-operated Pou Chen plant make around 50 cents an hour.

It’s part of our daily bread,says Mira Agustina, 30, said she was fired in 2009 for taking sick leave, even though she produced a doctor’s note.

Culled from

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