Adidas cheats Indonesian workers

This video from the USA is called U Florida students deliver empty Christmas presents to protest Adidas sweatshop abuse.

By Paddy McGuffin:

Sweatshop shame for Adidas

Friday 08 June 2012

Sportswear giant Adidas has stood accused of failing to pay $1.8 million (£1.2m) owed to former workers at one of its Indonesian supply factories.

The multinational, a key sponsor of both the London Olympics and the Euro 2012 football championships, was targeted by anti-poverty charities demanding that it meet its obligations.

Campaigners claim that in January 2011 the owner of PT Kizone in Indonesia fled, resulting in the factory’s closure in April the same year, leaving 2,800 workers without jobs and the severance pay to which they were entitled.

Many employees, the majority of them women with families to support, have lost their homes and face huge debts as a result.

Adidas had sourced clothing for many years from PT Kizone where labour rights activists allege workers were paid as little as 45p an hour.

Last July other buyers at the factory announced that they would contribute $1.5m (£972,000) to a compensation fund, about half of the money owed.

But according to War on Want and other campaigners Adidas, which has paid out hundreds of millions in sponsorship deals this year alone, refuses to pay a cent.

To highlight the plight of the unemployed PT Kizone workers, protesters from Labour Behind the Label, War on Want, UK Feminista and People & Planet staged demonstrations outside Adidas stores in London and other British cities as well as in Denmark, Spain and Austria.

Meanwhile PT Kizone workers demonstrated in front of the German and British embassies in the Indonesia capital Jakarta.

One former Kizone worker said: “This summer Adidas is paying hundreds of millions of euros, trillions of Indonesian rupiah, to sponsor athletic events. Meanwhile, without the severance payments to support us while we search for new jobs, many of us cannot pay rent.

“We cannot afford to eat three meals a day. We cannot keep up with school fees. We owe debt to relatives, neighbours, and money lenders. We are calling on Adidas to respect our rights and pay us the money we are owed.”

Sam Maher from Labour Behind the Label said: “Adidas pays millions of euros a year to promote itself as the biggest supporter of sporting endeavour.

“But without the efforts of workers like those at PT Kizone there would be no Adidas shirts, boots or footballs. It is time for Adidas to respect those women and men who make its goods, not just those who wear them.”

War on Want representative Murray Worthy added: “This is just one example of the appalling exploitation of the thousands of people who make Adidas goods around the world.

“Adidas must take responsibility for the workers who make their clothes, pay this compensation and act to tackle the poverty wages and abuses of workers’ rights that blight their global supply chains.”

Adidas did not respond to the Star‘s queries today.

See also here.

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