Tell Reebok & Co. that Dita Sari and Indonesian workers cannot be bought!

Anonyme, Miércoles, Abril 10, 2002 - 20:51


An appeal: Solidarity with Indonesian workers!

The British anti-sweatshop campaign No Sweat is appealing for funds to help the Indonesian workers' movement.

We are raising money for the campaigning union organisation, the National Front for Indonesian Workers Struggle
(FNPBI), whose most prominent leader is Dita Sari.

Dita, on behalf of herself and the FNPBI, recently refused to take a "human rights award" of $50,000 from the
sportswear transnational, Reebok. Reebok gives this award, annually, to a number of activists, because it is
cheaper than paying the "Third World" workers who slave in its sweatshop factories a living wage. It makes
Reebok look good.

Dita explains that she turned the award down - despite that fact that her organisation could put the money to good
use, because, "it would have been hypocritical to accept the money."

"In 1995, I was arrested and tortured by the police, after leading a strike of 5,000 workers of Indoshoes Inti Industry.
The workers were demanding a wage increase (they were paid only 70 pence for an eight hour a day). They
demanded maternity leave too. This company operated in West Java, and produced shoes for Reebok and Adidas.
I have seen for myself how the company treats the workers, and used the police to repress the strikers."

No Sweat has agreed to raise £5,000 for these workers of the FNPBI. We are currently asking similar campaigns -
internationally - to raise the remainder of the $50,000 Dita would have received from Reebok. The Indonesian
union won't take Reebok's dirty money - but they will accept your help and solidarity from your union.

Indonesia is, by population, the fifth biggest country in the world and its working class is now made up of over 80
million workers. It is extremely important that the British trade union movement helps the emerging Indonesian
labour movement.

The case for giving money to the No Sweat Indonesian Workers' Solidarity Fund.

Dita: Why I refused Reebok's money

"Globalisation is producing neither universal welfare nor global peace. On the contrary, globalisation has divided
the world into two antagonistic parts.

"There are wealthy creditors and bankrupt debtors. There are super-rich countries, and underdeveloped countries,
super-wealthy speculators, and impoverished malnourished children. Globalisation intensifies the growing gap
between the rich and the poor.

"The low pay and exploitation of the Reebok workers of Indonesia, Mexico and Vietnam are the main reasons why
we will not accept this award.

"In Indonesia, there are five Reebok companies. 80% of the workers are women. Since the workers can only get
around $1.5 a day, they then have to live in slum areas, in unhealthy conditions. This is particularly bad for the
working-class children. At the same time, Reebok collects millions of dollars in profits, every year, directly
contributed by these workers.

"We believe that accepting the award is not a proper thing to do. This is part of the consequences of our work to
help workers improve their lives. We cannot tolerate the way multinational companies treat the workers of the Third
World countries. And we surely hope that our stand can make a contribution to help changing the labour conditions
in Reebok-producing companies."

The FNPBI: In solidarity with women workers, 8 March 2002
International Women’s Day Celebration on 8 March is not just an annual tradition. This day should remind us that
prosperity, justice and equality for women - especially women workers - has not been achieved. Both globalisation
and capitalism have seized the two main possessions of women - prosperity and peace. The struggle of the
advanced capitalist countries to open up markets, gain huge profits and dominate world politics, has produced
poverty and war.

On almost every continent, civilians have been shaken by war or by the threat of armed conflict - Afghanistan,
Palestine, Iraq, India, Sri Lanka to Aceh. Poverty, injustice, a massive economic gap, have triggered violence, war
and bloodshed.

The economic embargos of the United States against the peoples of Iraq and Cuba has killed many women and
children, or made it harder for them to get medical services or a proper education.

Wars in Afghanistan and Palestine have left ruined, demolished buildings, blood, children bloated by starvation
and malnutrition, mothers paralysed with fear.

Globalisation does not bring democracy, let alone prosperity. The state is been used as instrument to ensure
capital's safety from all disturbance - from strikes, workers' demonstrations and unions’ activities. Globalisation
means cheap labour and massive misery for women workers.

Third World living standards have fallen drastically after IMF 'recommendations' to slash health, education,
electricity, fuel and housing subsidies. Pregnant mothers now pay more for health services, while at the same time
it’s difficult for children to stay in school, due to lack of hard cash. People’s control over public enterprises vanishes
after the privatisation of Third World industry.

In Indonesia, Megawati’s government is not a government for the poor, for women or for children living in poverty.
The Indonesian government carries out the instructions of the IMF, and pays all the foreign debt on time. Women’s
position, which is being weakened, allows a more intensive trafficking in women, and the exploitation of our

Side-by-side with the labour movement, the women’s movement will become the source of strength for the social
movement of the people.

The emerging anti-globalisation movement around the world: Seattle, Genoa, Brussels, South Korea and
Melbourne, have clearly proven the incredible participation and sincerity of women fighters. We have not won yet,
since poverty and violence continue.

Jakarta, March 8, 2002

Indonesian hotel workers strike and face troops and the police

The strike began on 13 March at the Imperial Century Hotel, Tangerang. At 9.30am the workers gathered in the
hotel lobby. Workers who worked on the afternoon shift and our FNPBI organiser were stopped from attending.

At 10.00 the company decided to negotiate about wages and conditions but refused to talk to the union, the FNPBI,
saying that they consider FNPBI to be an illegal organisation. (It is not).

Police and troops came at 11.40. At 12.45 four workers' delegates began negotiations.

The workers were told that a yellow, bosses' union, established during the Suharto dictatorship would negotiate for
them. The workers then decided to remove their delegation.

At 4pm the workers ended their negotiations, and finding no results they decided to consolidate by demonstrating
outside government offices.

About Dita Sari

Dita Sari is 29 and began her political activism ten years ago. The Indonesian labour movement faced constant
repression under the Suharto dictatorship. Dita participated in setting up free trade unions, in leading illegal
strikes and rallies to try to improve workers' conditions and agitating for open democracy in Indonesia. Dita Sari
was frequently arrested, and she was tortured and imprisoned.

In 1996 she was jailed after leading a demonstration of 20,000 workers.

At her trial in 1997 Dita Sari handed flowers to the judge, prosecutor and hundreds of supporters packed into the
public gallery. She then began reading a statement, and as she read people sang the popular song of struggle,
"Hymn of Blood.".

When the sentences were handed down, the crowd shouted: "The court is rigged."

While Dita was in prison she was elected chairperson of the trade union, the National Front for Indonesian
Workers Struggle (FNPBI). She was released from prison in 1999 after the collapse of President Suharto, and after
an international labour movement campaign, and publicity from Amnesty International.

In 2000 the FNPBI was recognised by the Indonesian government. Since her release she has continued to
organise and agitate for improved conditions for workers in Indonesia: "We cannot tolerate the way multinational
companies treat the workers of Third World countries."

About No Sweat

No Sweat is an activist, campaigning organisation, fighting sweatshop bosses, in solidarity with workers,

Sweatshop labour is modern, global capitalism stripped bare. From the small, backstreet sweatshop to some of
the biggest corporations in the world - child labour, forced overtime, poverty wages, unsafe conditions, harassment
of women workers and intimidation of trade unionists are commonplace.

No Sweat stands for workers' solidarity. We are for:

* A living wage
* Safe working conditions
* Independent trade unions.

All workers, in every country, deserve and need these rights.

In order to enforce these rights, they need to be free to organise - the stronger the union, the safer the workplace!

We aim to:

* Make solidarity with sweatshop workers and their organisations
* Help unionise sweatshops in Britain
* Publicise, expose and help stamp out sweatshop employment.

No Sweat is an open, broad-based campaign.
We look to the anti-capitalist protest movements and to the international workers' movement. We seek to build
common, united, campaigning action against exploitation and the sweatshop bosses.

Come and join us, help us, get active!

How to help the Indonesian workers' appeal

You can send money to the FNPBI appeal via No Sweat. We have set up a special account, send donations to
"Indonesian Workers' Solidarity" c/o No Sweat, PO Box 36707, London SW9 8YA.

Phone us for more deatils, speakers etc: 07904 431 959.

Affiliations to No Sweat are £50, individuals, £1.
Send cheques to the PO Box, above, payable to "No Sweat".

This is the website of No Sweat UK. At the above appeal can be downloaded in RTF format for opening in wordprocessors.

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