The Global Sustainability director of UNIQLO visited RISE earlier this year to build a partnership for clothing and potentially provide jobs for RISE members at UNIQLO stores.
Due to the ongoing Indonesian workers’ unethical wages and work conditions dispute with UNIQLO, RISE directors have refused to work with, nor accept any proposals from UNIQLO.
“When I met with the UNIQLO global director, I was very clear and stated that we are not like other “not-for-profit organisations”, we do not & will not work with unethical factories that use cheap labour, exploit workers and pay unethical wages to their staff, as well as the fact that we do not & will not accept any funding from the government. Though a very large proportion of our community members are chronically unemployed and there’s an extreme lack of adequate support services available to our members, it does not mean we will live off other people’s suffering, rights violation and exploitation.” says RISE Founder Ramesh Fernandez
We RISE directors are also not surprised to find out that UNHCR (a peak refugee rights body that claims to support refugees) has been working with UNIQLO unashamedly and does not even question their ethics. To reiterate our position, we will not pander to capitalist giants whose goal is to do anything possible to maximise their net worth within a minimal timeframe, resulting in money being funnelled into the hands of rich people, whilst poor people continue to suffer. Further, the capitalist principle of of these global corporations also adds to the destruction of the earth, which will only lead further to the increasing displacement of people due to climate change. Remember, your corporate crumbs does not mean anything to us.
Finally, RISE Directors thank all the volunteers who have done the research about UNIQLO to ensure RISE remains true to our core values.