Ivanka Trump clothing factory under review

From www.theguardian.com|

Employees in a factory placed in Indonesia report verbal abuse and receive wages that are not able to cover basic needs.

“The Guardian has spoken to more more than a dozen workers at the fashion label’s factory in Subang, Indonesia, where employees describe being paid one of the lowest minimum wages in Asia and there are claims of impossibly high production targets and sporadically compensated overtime. The workers’ complaints come only a week after labour activists investigating possible abuses at a Chinese factory that makes Ivanka Trump shoes disappeared into police custody. The activists’ group claimed they had uncovered a host of violations at the plant including salaries below China’s legal minimum wage, managers verbally abusing workers and “violations of women’s rights”. In the Indonesian factory some of the complaints are similar, although the wages paid to employees in Subang are much lower”.

The Guardian has investigated the factory and depicts what some workers are said

“Alia makes the legal minimum wage for her job in her province: 2.3 million rupiah, or about $173 a month – but that legal minimum is among the lowest in Indonesia as a whole, and as much as 40% lower than in Chinese factories, another labour source for the Ivanka Trump brand. When Alia was told the gist of Ivanka Trump’s new book on women in the workplace, she burst out laughing. Her idea of work-life balance, she said, would be if she could see her children more than once a month. Sita, 23, is one such worker. She had to drop out of college when her parents got sick, and started working at Buma last year. She told the Guardian that her contract will be terminated soon, after seven months of work. “That’s one of the company’s ways to cope with extra expenses,” she said. As a contract worker, she will not get any severance. “I can’t stand it any more. I work unpaid overtime every day and still earn just 2.3 million [rupiah] a month. I’m planning to move from Subang, where the minimum wage is too low. But I don’t know where to go yet. I haven’t got any connections.”

David Welsh, Indonesia and Malaysia director at the Solidarity Center, said: “You have to assess minimum wages in the context of the country itself and, in that context, it’s not a living wage. Given the disparity in wages across Indonesia, we see a trend whereby factories are migrating increasingly to the lowest wage jurisdictions … whose terms are essentially dictated deliberately by western brands.”

“The fortunes of Ivanka’s brand have fluctuated wildly in the past year. During her father’s campaign, net sales for her brand increased by almost $18m in the year ending 31 January 2017, according to G-III data. But in recent months, several department stores have pulled her brand and G-III discreetly relabelled some Ivanka Trump merchandise under a different house brand, Adrienne Vitadini”.

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