15 Junio 2017 11:13
The salaries are so pitiful that workers can’t even afford to live with their children
Salaries below the official minimum wage, pressures on workers not to join unions and bonuses for women who don’t take time off during menstruation. The Guardian has published a report on the precarious working conditions of some of the Indonesian employees who make clothing for Ivanka Trump’s firm. The salaries are so pitiful that the workers can’t even afford to live with their children.
The information has come to light a week after an activist denounced the same dreadful working conditions and abuse in a Chinese factory which produces shoes for the same brand.
The report, in which 12 employees were interviewed from the Indonesian factory, reveals wage rates well below the country’s average, as well as a total incompatibility for combining family and working life.
This is Alia’s case, one of the interviewed workers: her salary is within the legal minimum in her province (around 173 dollars a month), but among the lowest in Indonesia and up to 40% lower than that of the Chinese factories, where they also produce a large amount of clothing for the company.
Alia rents a room together with her husband in a boarding house close to the factory, which sets her back 30 dollars a month. It is filled with photos of their children. The idea of living as a family doesn’t even enter into the couple’s heads. The kids live on the outskirts of the city with their grandparents, many miles away from the factory.
According to what she told The Guardian, Alia laughs at Ivanka Trump’s declarations and the idea that she published ‘Women who work’.
‘Her idea of work-life balance would be if she could see her children more than once a month.’
Today, there are more than 2,700 employees working in the factory (Buma). Around three quarters of them are women, many of them mothers. Although there are two unions, not many more than 200 employees are members. The rest are put under pressure from the company not to sign up, The Guardian reports.
Another 23-year-old employee denounces the low wages and says she works unpaid overtime.
The fortunes of Ivanka’s brand have fluctuated wildly in the last year. During her father’s campaign, net sales in the US increased by almost 18 million during the year. Ivanka Trump launched her fashion brand in 2007, after trying out as a model, but stepped down from managing the company after her father rose to the presidency.
However, and despite no longer being technically linked with the brand, her reputation has still been stained by scandals of labour abuses. The most recent case is that of the Chinese shoe factory: it was discovered that 80 employees of G-III Apparel Group were being exploited, receiving only 1 dollar an hour, according to a report by The Hill.
The daughter of the US president was also recently booed in Berlin during a speech in which she talked of the need to support female entrepreneurs.