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Thursday, 7 March, 2002, 07:59 GMT
Oxfam condemns sportswear giants
Nike trainers
Don't do it? The report is the second to criticise Nike
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By Richard Galpin
BBC Jakarta Correspondent
The international aid agency, Oxfam Community Aid Abroad, has released a new report condemning conditions at dozens of factories in Indonesia supplying the top sportswear manufacturers Nike and Adidas.

Indonesian workers in Nike factories
Indonesia workers get as little as $2 a day for making Nike products
The report says tens of thousands of employees are still living in extreme poverty and work in dangerous conditions.

The criticism comes at a sensitive time for the companies, less than three months before the football World Cup kicks off.

It is the second report produced by Oxfam on factory conditions in Indonesia in less than two years.

Hazardous jobs

The aim was to assess whether there have been any significant improvements since the earlier investigation was first published, alleging extreme abuse of workers' basic rights in many factories supplying goods to the two sportswear companies.

According to Oxfam, the result this time is not much better.

It says workers' lives are still dominated by poverty and fear.

With full-time wages as low as $2 a day, families do not have enough to live on.

It alleges those active in trade unions are afraid of losing their jobs or even being attacked and the work itself, it is alleged, remains hazardous.

The report says there are still accidents involving cutting machines and that illness is caused by inhaling fumes from toxic chemicals - and all this to supply the world's largest sportswear companies, which in the last financial year earned around $750 million between them.

Allegations denied

However a spokesman for Adidas denied many of the allegations.

Tennis player Anna Kournikova in an Adidas top
Adidas and Nike are worn by many sports stars
He said wages had been increased recently, and that trade unions were encouraged to play a role in the factories.

He added the company was trying to ensure good conditions for the workforce.

But Oxfam insists neither Nike nor Adidas are doing enough to ensure workers are able to live in dignity.

It also warns consumers they cannot be confident that sportswear produced by these high-profile companies is made in decent conditions.

See also:

20 Dec 01 | Business
Nike sees earnings grow
04 Sep 00 | Asia-Pacific
Athletes urged to rethink Nike ties
21 Jan 99 | Asia-Pacific
Nike slams Vietnam labour critics
05 May 00 | Americas
Nike cuts university funding
19 Oct 99 | Americas
Reebok criticises own factories
20 Apr 98 | Asia-Pacific
Sports giant Nike in dock again
22 Jun 00 | Sci/Tech
Nike website is hijacked
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