In a squalid suburb of the Indonesian capital, young women are working long hours in grim conditions to make sure football fans can wear their team colours for the 2010 World Cup.

At the PT Tuntex factory in Tangerang, Jakarta, migrant workers spend long hours for low pay making replica team shirts already selling in wealthy Western countries for up to $80 each.

By contrast, their share of the World Cup bonanza making the shirts for Adidas, Nike, and Nike subsidiary Umbro, is a wage of as little as $3.30 a day which unions say is far below what they consider a living wage.

Around 2,000 women work in the factory which produces the official England replica shirts as well as other shirts to be worn by other teams competing in the 2010 tournament in South Africa.

The workers would have to work for nearly a full month at their basic rates of pay to afford just one of the best-selling England team shirts they make.

No laws are being broken and minimum wages are paid, but labour unions argue that the brand name sports companies have a moral responsibility to improve conditions for workers.

Most workers at the factory are aged 17-24 and their basic pay is 1.05 million rupiah ($111) a month for a five-day week. They can boost their salary to 2 million rupiah by working overtime until 8 p.m. every day.

Most employees are migrant workers and many live with their children and families in a sprawl of ramshackle brick and bamboo huts scattered around the factory, which cost between 20 and 30 dollars a month to rent.

“All of us work the maximum overtime because we have families to support and the basic salary isn’t really enough to live on,” said machinist Bintang, 22, a worker at the factory for three years.

“The work is very hard and the pay is not good, but we are happy just to have jobs because so many factories are closing down at the moment because of the bad economy.”

Packing worker Saraswati, 19, who has been at the factory for 18 months, said: “The bosses are very strict. There was a worker on probation with me when I first joined and she was sacked on the spot for turning up for work just a few minutes late.

“That is why we all rent rooms close to the factory so that we can be sure to arrive on time, even though they are so expensive. Otherwise we will lose our jobs and may not find another one.”

Dian Ansar, spokeswoman for the Congress of Indonesian Unions Alliance, said conditions for the women at PT Tuntex were common — but the World Cup presented a rare opportunity for change.

“People overseas should be aware of what goes on in this factory and they should complain about it,” she said. “These women do not make enough money for their families to live on at the moment.

“It is no good saying these people earn the legal minimum wage. In Indonesia, the minimum wage is too low. They have a difficult life and if business is bad, they are sacked with no social welfare.”

Nike spokesman Charlie Brooks insisted that the company was committed to producing the England and other World Cup strips under “fair working conditions”.

“Workers at PT Tuntex earn more than the minimum wage set by the Indonesian government. Our code of conduct also requires no more than 60 hours of work per week, which includes overtime, and one full day off in seven,” he said.

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