US footwear giant Nike has restated its long-term commitment to sourcing from Indonesia even though thousands of workers have again taken to the streets to rally against the company's plans to stop sourcing from two Indonesian footwear plants.

Workers marched from the Jakarta Stock Exchange to the headquarters of the Indonesian Employers Association yesterday (23 July), reportedly causing traffic congestion.

Nike, however, is standing by its decision to cease orders at the plants - PT Hardaya Aneka Shoes (Hasi) and Nagasakti Paramashoes Industry (Nasa) - by the end of 2007.

The world's largest footwear firm blamed a "consistent inability to meet company's minimum product quality and delivery standard for two years" coupled with business performance issues at the factories, which are owned by Central Cipta Murdaya (CCM), for the move.

But the company has, however, restated its commitment to continue doing business in Indonesia for the long term. 

Erin Dobson, Nike's director of corporate responsibility communications, said: "Nike has been sourcing in Indonesia since 1989. Since, 2004 Nike has increased its footwear sourcing by 16%.

"Despite this decision, Nike will continue to source 20% of its footwear manufacturing in Indonesia and will continue to work with more than 30 footwear and apparel contract factories in Indonesia."

just-style reported earlier this month (16 July) that plans by Nike to phase out footwear orders from the suppliers had sparked protests by thousands of workers outside the headquarters of Nike Indonesia in Jakarta.

The protests followed reports that Nike's plans could result in the loss of 14,000 jobs.

Nike today said it would continue to work with both factories over the next nine months until completion of final orders in 2008, and to allow sufficient time for CCM to take care of its workers. 

Nike has also vowed to work with union representatives from both factories to assist in educating workers on their legal rights and other employment should the need arise.

By Joe Ayling.