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8 Jul 2021

Fair Labor Association

Indonesia: FLA investigation recommends Uniqlo & s. Oliver contribute to financial relief for Jaba Garmindo workers



Having received the complaint from the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) and the Federasi Serikat Pekerja Metal Indonesia (FSPMI) labor union in October 2019, the FLA concluded within a short period that it did satisfy the threshold criteria for initiation under the TPC process. But that came with a recognition of the tough road ahead…

Having found that the factual information reviewed and analyzed did not demonstrate the companies’ responsibility for the Jaba Garmindo bankruptcy, the Investigator further notes that as a legal matter, “the responsibility of buyers/brands for compensating workers in case of a factory closure/bankruptcy remains a subject of considerable debate and disagreement.” Based on his review, he concludes that current international and national legal standards do not impose this responsibility on sourcing brands such as the two companies in this case.

The FLA concurs with this determination…

…the investigator has provided a series of recommendations directed at the brands, the Indonesian government, the banks, and the FLA itself…

The FLA also takes note of one of the recommendations directed at the brands:

  • Although this investigation revealed that the bankruptcy and closure of Jaba Garmindo was not due to any wrongdoings of the two sourcing brands targeted in the Complaint, the Investigator recommends that these two brands – as well as any of the eighteen others that also sourced from Jaba Garmindo – come together under the leadership of an impartial organization and create an account for providing financial relief to the ex-Jaba Garmindo workers. Such an effort would be a huge benefit, even several years later, for the workers and their families and would at the same time demonstrate the brands’ willingness to assist – even in the absence of any legal obligation to do so.

The investigator thus affirms that both the facts and the law do not support finding responsibility on the part of the companies, as well as his view that they should help address the still-unmet needs of the affected workers…