World

Report: Ivanka's Clothing Company Pays Scant Wages

| by Lauren Briggs
Coins on a tableCoins on a table

Indonesian factory workers who produce the clothing for self-proclaimed women's rights advocate Ivanka Trump's fashion line are reportedly not paid enough to live with their children, and a number of employees say that they are not treated fairly by management.

At the PT Buma Apparel Industry factory in Subang, Indonesia, where some of the 35-year-old first daughter's products are made, workers make one of the lowest minimum wages in Asia, reports The Guardian. They frequently do not receive overtime pay and are expected to make 58 to 92 garments every half hour, though they typically are only able to make between 27 and 40, according to the report.

Workers said that they get called names like "animals, moron and monkey" and that the management clocks them out at the end of the 4 p.m. shifts to avoid overtime pay, even if the employees have to stay to produce more clothing to meet the high quotas. One person said they work unpaid overtime every day.

PT Buma also habitually fires people -- approximately 290 in May -- right before Ramadan and hires them immediately after, so that they can avoid paying mandatory religious holiday bonuses, since most employees are practicing Muslims, says the report.

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Married couple Alia and Ahmad work at the manufacturing company. Alia said she makes approximately $173 each month, the legal minimum wage in the area which is approximately 40 percent less than people make in comparable Chinese factories, like the one that makes more clothing for Ivanka.

Alia and Ahmad rent a $30 per month set of rooms at a boarding house and can only visit their children one weekend per month, when they can afford the gas to make the hours-long trip to see the kids, who live with their grandparents.

"We can never think about leaving debt," Alia told The Guardian.

She said that she laughed when she heard about Trump's book, "Women Who Work," which talks about a work-life balance. If she could see her children more than once a month, Alia said she would be happy with her work-life balance.

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Ahmad said that they "don't like [U.S. President] Donald Trump's policies," particularly his support to ban travel from a number of Muslim-majority nations, but that they are "not in a position to make employment decisions based on ... principles."

Some others said that the job was comfortable and that they liked the air conditioning and other amenities.

Ivanka, who has stepped down from running her fashion company said in her book that she wants to "improve the lives of countless women and girls" while advising her father in the White House, according to USA Today.

"My father has always said, if you love what you do, and work really, really hard, you will succeed," Ivanka wrote in the book. "This is a fundamental principle of creating and perpetuating a culture of success, and also a guiding light for me personally."

Sources: The GuardianUSA Today / Photo credit: Pixabay

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