Nike workers in Indonesia earn about 1,285,000 rupiahs a month, or about $4.80 a day. Jim Keady went there to find out what their earnings can buy. Here’s the result.
For comparison, 1000 rupiahs is about a dime. If the worker is single they can earn enough to rent a tiny room, buy two meals a day and a couple of small bananas, and have enough left over to pay their bus fare to work. If they have kids, tough luck.
Jim has been at this for fourteen years now. He’s begun to gain some traction with Nike. They used to say it wasn’t any of their business: Founding CEO Phil Knight famously defended Nike’s practice by disclaiming, “We don’t make shoes.”
Now Nike slowly follows Jim’s lead, gradually accepting some responsibility for some of the abuses Jim exposes.
Here’s an example of a recent kind-of-success: Nike acknowledging that workers were being forced to work unpaid overtime, then being pressured to keep quiet about it.
Hooray for Jim Keady.