Indonesians not doing it?

Thang is a, er, rather controversial writer. Here’s his opinion on the protesters against Nike in Singapore’s Business Times.

clipped from

Just Do It instead of playing blame games

Business Times – 07 Aug 2007
Indonesia must step up moves to improve its investment climate to retain foreign players


IF you want to solve a problem, the first step is to acknowledge it exists. But sadly, this is not the case with some people in Indonesia, who like to blame foreigners for many things that go wrong in the country.

Take the case of Nike. Recently, thousands of workers from Naga Sakti Parama Shoes Industry (Nasa) and Hardaya Aneka Shoes Industry (Hasi) took to the streets in rallies against the American athletic apparel company because it ended working contracts with them.

Nike said it did this because of poor quality and late deliveries.

But the workers thought otherwise. Carrying banners like ‘I hate Nike’ and ‘Go to hell Nike’, they demanded the company restore its contracts with their factories – and denied the problems that Nike said it had.

  blog it

6 thoughts on “Indonesians not doing it?

  1. Both side can be wrong, or it can be only one side is wrong, or both are right.

    But putting banner like “Nike go to hell” and expecting the corporation to hire them back isn’t that ironic? Besides, why those two companies (i.e. Nasa and Hasi) encouraged their employees to go on the street and did what they did?

    Observers can see that these companies are trying to shift the blame on Nike and perhaps trying to “intimidate” Nike as well.



  2. If it can be complicated, why simplify it?

    Being an Indonesian, I know it can’t be more indonesian than that. Brace yourselves for impact, the blame game is just the beginning!


  3. I think Indonesians in general need to learn how to be more mature in handling complaints. Complaints hurt momentarily but we should be able to learn the lessons and improve ourselves. It’s strange to use intimidation to win businesses back. It won’t work. Incentives and good services will work much much better. đŸ™‚ Very nice posting (clipping from Thang).


  4. I subscribe very much to what aditya and Jennie have said. It is ironic indeed to tell Nike to go to hell instead of being more conciliatory. And the people need more mature leaders instead of those fanning anger and hatred. Can you imagine the consequences if Nike were to have a change of heart and continue their operations in the face of such hostility?

    As an outsider, I would rate the chances of Nike reversing their position as totally nil, with all the hostile demonstrations. Have the contractors for Nike met the decision makers to offer better quality products and quality control inspections to try win the contracts back? Have they appealed to their workers to stay calm while a possible solution is being worked out? I am sure the decision was not a sudden one. Nike must have had many complaints about the quality of production prior to this. Did anyone pay heed to these red flags?


  5. I’ve have to admit: to be angry is useless. Protests will be useless also. Being compliant as well, by the way. The reason given by Nike (quality) to stop may be true or untrue, but for sure it has not been decisive. I guess Nike has found a place elsewhere where labor is even cheaper. In any case decisionmaking by Nike ( and other multinationals) usually has next to nothing to do with the welfare of their workers, or the workers of their subcontractors, I’m afraid.

    The only longterm solution maybe to create convincing conditions for (foreign) investments, otherwise than just exploitation of cheap labor. Maybe demonstrations should be held in front of the offices of the policymakers in Jakarta.


  6. Think alot of you are ignoring the facts and missing the main issues. These demonstrations are rarely what they seem in Indonesia. Trade union leaders are rarely what they seem in Indonesia and like to present themselves as champions of the poor when in reality they make a lot of noise then often cut shady deals in smoky rooms. The workers in this case didn’t care about Nike pulling out — they were after severance payments because they’d misinterpreted the law.
    The protests were an orchestrated, paid-for bid by Hartati, one of the factory owners as a bargaining tool. The central point — blanket blaming of “foreigners” won’t help anything – remains. This isn’t just really a good example to make it. It just shows you’re buying Hartati’s crisis management propaganda.


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