After years of sub-standard wages barely above the legal minimum wage, over 600 workers at the Kecap Bango factory in Subang, Indonesia, are holding protest actions demanding a living wage.
For years the union, SPMKB, has been unable to make progress through wage negotiations with management at the local company, PT AMB. Management repeatedly claims that it is Unilever Indonesia and its subsidiaries – as the joint venture partner, exclusive buyer and owner of the Bango brand – ultimately decides the wage budget. This has left the union unable to exercise their wage bargaining rights, while the vast majority of workers remain stuck at wage levels barely above the legal minimum. Cost of living surveys by the union show a serious wage deficit, with current wages well below a living wage needed by workers and their families.
The Bango brand is owned by Unilever and was described by the Unilever CEO as one of the company’s top global brands of purpose. Despite being a sustainable living brand, the workers who make Bango products are unable to benefit from a sustainable living wage.