That's capitalism


A man who saved two co-workers from an explosion and fire in Nike's Garuda factory in Indonesia and who suffered extensive burns in the process was fired for his efforts. Instead of a hero's welcome, Mr. Kusnadi received a reprimand when he returned to the plant after hospitalization. The supervisor told him "it's not our business if you try to help your friends". After a newspaper reporter brought the story to Nike's attention, a company representative tracked down Kusnadi - 21 months after the September 11th 1996 fire - and presented him with $91 for unreimbursed expenses. Hooray!


Indonesia's new President, B.J. Habibie, who enriched himself under former dictator Suharto's crony capitalism, recently asked Indonesians to fast twice a week to save rice. In response to the Asian currency crisis and as a condition for bail-out loans, the International Monetary Fund has imposed "reforms" which have sent both unemployment and inflation skyrocketing. As millions of Indonesians worry about where their next meal is coming from, multi-millionaire Habibie blithely encourages them to forego eating twice a week.


After the story in Workers Solidarity about Irish banks ripping off their customers, ITV's World in Action progamme revealed that 77% of bank accounts it had audited had "mistakes" - in the banks' favour.


This article is from Workers Solidarity No 55 published in October 1998