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Nike Factory Closed After Worker Protest

Sun., April 27, 1997

Officials ordered a factory that makes Nike shoes shut down Saturday after workers burned cars and ransacked its offices, saying the company wasn’t paying them a $2.50 a day minimum wage.

Almost half the factory’s 10,000 employees took part in Friday’s demonstration at Tangerang, an industrial town outside Jakarta, according to Indonesian media.

It was the second protest in a week against PT Hardaya Aneka Shoe Industry, which owns the factory that makes shoes under contract for Nike Inc.

Two women were hospitalized after police broke up the melee, in which protesters burned two cars and smashed windows, doors and furniture at the factory, according to the Republika newspaper. Several police officers and soldiers suffered minor injuries. No arrests were reported.

A factory official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the plant would stay closed Saturday and today, normal working days, although production would restart Monday.

The workers complained the company was failing to pay a government-decreed minimum wage of $2.50 a day that took effect April 1.

“They are ignoring the rights of the workers to get a decent salary,” said Jusuf Makatita, a local labor activist.

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