GAP scandal: workers fight closure with occupation

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

By the FNPBI

The workers of the Binoli factory have begun an occupation. Situated in north Jakarta, Binoli produces 6,000 items of GAP baby wear per day.

On 21 April workers’ representatives were invited to see the manager. The company stated that working hours must be cut. Workers will be divided into two shifts, and wages reduced by 25 percent. On 23 April the company announced redundancies and the closure of the factory.

The bosses announced that a worker with five years at the factory will obtain three months salary and 500,000 Rupiah (US$55), while those who have worked less than five years will receive two months salary and 500,000 Rupiah.

In most “third world” countries, low wages are justified as attempts to attract foreign investors. Here wages are maintained at just 8% of production costs.

The workers have been contributing to both the profits of Binoli and GAP – but are now being discarded. The GAP representative stated that they did not understand why Binoli had decided to close the factory, passing the blame onto their Indonesian sub-contractor.

Maryati, one of the workers, stated, “We are afraid that company will sack the workers and then hire the contract workers.” This happens very regularly in Indonesia.

“We are occupying the factory to pressure them”.

The minimum wage of Jakarta workers is about US $79 per month

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