Replica Jerseys, Authentic Injustice

At the PT Tuntex factory in Tangerang, Banten migrant workers spend from early morning to late evening for low pay making replica team shirts already selling in wealthy Western countries for up to $80 each.   By contrast, their share of the World Cup bonanza making the shirts for Adidas, Nike, and Nike subsidiary Umbro is a wage of as little as Rp 23,000 ($2.50) a day. Unions argue that the amount is not enough to be considered a living wage.   About 2,000 women work in the factory, which turns out the official England replica shirts and shirts to be worn by fans of other teams competing in the 2010 tournament in South Africa.   The workers would have to toil for nearly a full month at their basic rates of pay to afford just one of the best-selling England team shirts they make.

An article on the working conditions of factories producing replica soccer jerseys for international teams was recently published by Deutsche Press Agentur and appeared in The Jakarta Globe.    As a spokesperson for KASBI (Kongres Aliansi Serikat Buruh Indonesia) points out, the international branding of the product offers an unusual point of leverage for the workers of PT Tuntex, the possibility of bringing international pressure to bear on the brand names they are producing.

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