Areport into conditions at Indonesian factories used by Nike has uncovered allegations of sexual harassment and physical and verbal abuse. Interviewees claimed that two employees in different plants had died at work after being denied medical attention. Workers at one factory claimed that female recruits were encouraged to ‘date’ managers to ensure promotion.

Nike said the findings were ‘disturbing’ and promised to implement at detailed ‘remediation plan’ involving harassment training, grievance systems and stronger workplace policies.

Dusty Kidd, Nike’s vice-president for corporate responsibility said: ‘No worker should be subject to some of the working conditions reported in this assessment. Nike hopes that other companies in our industry will not shy away from processes like these.’

The 104-page report was produced for Nike by the Global Alliance for Workers and Communities, a group of not-for-profits foundations, international institutions such as the World Bank and corporations including Nike and Gap.

‘Sexual touching’ by supervisors or managers was reported by 2.4% of the workers interviewed. Comments of a sexual nature were reported by 7.7% of the workers while 30% suffered verbal abuse.

Rick Little, chairman of Global Alliance’s operating council, said the findings were ‘very troubling and disturbing’. He added: ‘Nike took extraordinary measures to examine these allegations.’ They have ‘acted in good faith’ and developed a serious and reasonable remediation plan.’

Global Alliance interviewed 4,000 workers in nine factories. Of those surveyed, 96.2% reported monthly salaries above the official minimum wage of Rp286,000 (US$32.70).