PT. Busana Indah Global
Jan 2010 Update: This factory case has been settled and the workers that were wrongfully dismissed have been rehired. You can read the statement from the workers here.
WHO OWNS IT
Hanil Synthetic Fiber
WHAT THEY PRODUCE
Acrylic Fiber: yarn
WHO THEY PRODUCE FOR
Walmart, Target, Hanes, Sports Authority, Sears
NUMBER OF WORKERS
SUMMARY OF PROBLEMS AT THE FACTORY
- Violated workers’ freedom of association
- Violated and abused workers’ temporary contract agreements
- Workers are paid poverty level wages
- Workers are not provided with adequate health care; general lack of transparency concerning workers’ social benefits
- Workers must work excessive overtime that they are often not adequately compensated for
- Predominantly Islamic workers are not given adequate time to pray
In February of 2009 workers formed the GARTEKS union, having officially registered at the Manpower Department of the Sukabumi district, in Indonesia. The union was formed in response to excessive over time, abuse of temporary contracts, low wages, inadequate health care and other social benefits, and lack of time to pray (given the majority of workers are Islamic). Indonesian law allows for workers to work 40 hours a week; seven hours per day for six days a week, or eight hours a day for five days a week. The PT BIG workers worked 10.5 hours a day; every day they worked 2.5 hours past the legal limit and were not paid overtime. This is in direct violation of Indonesian labor law. The majority of workers were also signed onto temporary contracts. Under a temporary contract workers can only work a maximum of three years, after three years the worker should sign a permanent contract. All PT BIG workers technically have permanent worker status but have not been offered permanent contracts. Without permanent contracts they can not receive severance pay and it is often the tactic of employers to use temporary contracts as a means of avoiding severance payments to their employees. Regarding wages, workers receive the equivalent of roughly $2 per day, or roughly $63 per month (630,000 IDR), however workers consider roughly $108 per month sufficient for covering the total cost of living.
Three months after the union was formed on May 13, 2009, the Vice Secretary of GARTEKS, who had worked at PT BIG for two years, was forced to sign a letter of resignation prepared by the company. In response to this, on the morning of May 25, 2009 twenty-five GARTEK members organized a peaceful demonstration. The company responded by bringing in large numbers of police squads, non-uniform policemen, as well as thugs. During the demonstration, the manager of PT BIG told workers they had two options: to either resign from the union or resign from the company. On May 26, 2009 the Chairman of the GARTEKS plant level board along with 24 GARTEKS members were forced to sign letters of resignation. Less than a month later on June 10, 2009, the Vice Chairman of GARTEKS, a PT BIG worker for two and half years, was forced to sign a letter of resignation from the company along with three other GARTEK members.
COMMUNICATION WITH BUYERS
The President of the GARTEKS federation has been in contact with Target, Wal-Mart, Li&Fund and Hanes imploring them to send a letter of solidarity to PT BIG demanding that management hold themselves accountable and rehired those workers who were dismissed, recognize the union, and respect Indonesian labor law as well as international labor conventions. ILRF has sent letters to Walmart, Hanes, and Target concerning this issue. At this point Target says that the issues are resolved although all evidence indicates that that is not the case. Hanes has indicated that they are in dialogue with factory management concerning the issues and will send an update soon.