Dila's photo

“I know Uniqlo. It is an expensive brand. The products must be of good quality. But we, who sewed the clothes, were paid very little. They didn’t know how long we had to work to sew their products. All they knew was setting targets to meet the order. They didn’t know how management pressured us, forced us, yelled, shouted, cursed us. All they knew was that we finished the order right on time and the export went well,” said Dila Vitra Dian Ningsih, the 38-year-old mother of two young children.

Dila was sewing garments at Jaba Garmindo for 15 years. “My energy and time had been given to the factory. We had toiled in the production room, making goods for sale. We worked so hard, many times till late at night so that the export could be on time. One day I started working at 7 in the morning, and I stopped at midnight. We had to do that so we could get more orders, said the management.”

She only learned that the factory was closing on the very last day – when she got the news not from the management but from the trade union. As many of her coworkers, she had to fight to be paid from bankruptcy proceedings: “We fought, and then we got four months’ wage. It was after the company declared bankruptcy.” Dila used this money to pay off some of the debts that had accumulated once the family was left without her income.

Dila’s older child is in the fourth grade now, and the youngest is staying at home because the family cannot afford to pay for kindergarden. The children’s father is a contract worker, so his job could be terminated overnight, and the family is not able to live together. When Dila lost her job, they were no longer able to pay rent, and she moved in with her sister, together with the children, but her husband’s job is too far away for him to commute.

The family has had to compromise in many other aspects of their lives as well, from the kind of food they eat to health insurance: “I haven’t re-registered for health insurance. I have to register the four of us but I cannot afford to pay monthly fees. The most important thing is that I buy books for my schooling child and milk for my youngest.” Dila is afraid of what will happen once educating her children also means paying tuition: “What will we do later, when the children are in higher education? I can’t imagine their future. How will I pay for my children’s school?!”

Dila has been trying to find a job, but she shares the experience of many other former Jaba Garmindo workers: “Every time they say that I am no longer in a productive age. It does not matter that I have skills and experience.”

When asked about her message for Uniqlo, Dila said: “Just remember the service that we gave you. I am asking your sympathy for me and my future. Open your heart. Please, pay us! The amount we are asking for is small compared to the profits. But for us, it’s big enough and means a lot.”


38歲,育有兩名年幼的孩子的母親Dila Vitra Dian Ningsih說:「我認識Uniqlo。它是一個昂貴的品牌。它的產品一定要有好的品質。但是我們 - 這班幫Uniqlo縫製衣服的人,都只有很低的薪水。他們不知道我們要用多久時間去縫製它們的產品。他們只知道的是要設定目標以達到訂單要求。他們不知道管理層怎樣強迫、大叫及咒罵我們。他們只知道我們要準時完成訂單,及順利出口。」

Dila已在Jaba Garmindo從事製衣工作15年了。「我的精力及青春已全給了這家工廠了。我們辛勞地在生產線上工作,製作產品出售。我們非常勤力工作,很多時都工作至深夜,以令貨品能夠準時出口。有一天,我由早上7時不停工作至凌晨12時才停止。管理層說,我們一定要這樣做,因為這能使我們得到更多訂單。」

她是在很後期才得知工廠即將倒閉,更甚者,她是從工會口中才得知這些消息,管理層對倒閉事宜絕口不提。她與很多同工一樣,她需要奮力爭取,才能在工廠破產的程序中取得應有工資。「在公司宣佈破產後,我們極力抗爭、奮鬥才取回了被拖欠的四個月工資。 」Dila用這些錢去償還部分債務──她的家庭因為工廠倒閉而失去了經濟支柱,以致欠下了一筆債務。

Dila的長子 現在讀四年班,其幼子則仍留在家,因為家裡沒能負擔他到幼稚園上學。孩子的父親只是一名合約工人,他可能隨時面臨被解僱的危機,因此這一家人沒能力能住在一起。當Dila失去工作,他們便再付不起租金,她與孩子搬去姐妹家住,但她的丈夫因為工作地點太遠而被迫要分開。

他們一家人的生活水平大不如前,從每餐吃什麼以至醫療保險都已不如往昔。「我再無重新登記醫療保險。我必須要為我們四人登記,但我不能負擔月費。最重要的東西是買書給我上學的孩子及牛奶給我的幼兒。」Dila很擔心將來孩子受教育的學費問題:「當孩子將來升上更高班時,我們應該怎麼辦呢? 我對他們的前境很擔憂。我怎樣才能負擔孩子的學費呢?」

Dila一直都在找工作,然而,她與很多Jaba Garmindo的前員工,都面對了同一困境。「每一次他們都說我已不在具生產力的年齡。就算我擁有多年技術及經驗也無補於事 。」