Indonesian Workers Forced To Work 65 Hours A Week On Adidas Gear For Olympics

The U.K.-based paper reported how nine locally owned and managed factories in Indonesia, who were contracted to produce Olympic shoes and clothing for Adidas, had been subjecting their workers to poor working conditions, which included: long overtime hours, desperately poor pay, verbal and physical abuse, as well as an unhygienic work environment.

Furthermore, 10 factory workers who were trying to start a union to get better conditions were suspended from their jobs over a month ago, while many workers also said that they faced physical punishments for failing to meet production targets. The report added that none of the Indonesian employees interviewed had heard of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) base code, which is an internationally recognised labour code adopted by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG), and none also knew about LOCOG's complaints mechanism that were set up to enable workers to report labour violations.

"I feel proud and happy to be making Olympic goods, but the work is really hard and the supervisors try to force us to reach targets," said Siti Hadijah, a 32-year-old female factory worker who stitches jackets, shorts, trousers and polo tees with the Olympics logo.

"It's hard to get permission even to go to the bathroom; we're (metaphorically) tied to our seats," added Yuliani, a 23-year-old seamstress at another factory in Tangerang. Jamiatun, one of the union leaders at an Indonesian factory, also claimed that factory audits done by overseas Adidas officials were “farcical” as workers were being forced to lie when auditors came down.

"They're always announced beforehand, so we have to clean, we have to sweep," said Jamiatun. "The first-aid box is filled, and we're told what to say if the inspector speaks to us. We have to tell them we're paid the minimum wage, and we mustn't tell them we work overtime at weekends."

"They [the management] get people to hide in bathrooms, so there are fewer people on the production line and it looks more efficient,” added another worker named Ratna.

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