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200 People Per Shoe - Making Nike footwear in Tangerang, Indonesia

Excerpt from Elizabeth Grossman's blog, The Pump Handle. "We Trust You," says the sign over the entrance to a factory in the Pratama Abadi manufacturing complex that produces Nike footwear in Tangerang, Indonesia, a city of 1.4 million about 12 miles west of Jakarta. Just inside "Factory 1" hangs an enormous banner that reads (in English) "Craftsmanship - No Quality, No Work." It pictures an older man kneeling as he works with a hand tool. Below him, in Indonesian, is the phrase, "There is no work without quality." An image of Winged Victory - the original Nike - hovers above. The first impressions upon entering Factory 1, a huge one-storey plant, are noise and heat. The ceilings are high and there are skylights and fans, but no air conditioning. (The outdoor temperature is in the 90s.) Conveyor belts and machines for sewing, cutting, trimming, and pressing whirr and clack. Music from a loudspeaker is muffled by machine sounds. To be heard, one almost has to shout. Row upon row of women in pale green blouses sit working on pieces of shoes in progress. There are a few work-stations where men manipulate the footwear and materials, but the overwhelming majority of the workers in this vast space are women. Read the full article