Adidas faces protests over 'sweatshop' goods


Click to follow
The Independent Online

Anti-poverty campaigners will target Adidas stores across the country this weekend after The Independent revealed that workers in some of the sportswear giant's contracted factories are paid as little as 34p an hour.

Protesters plan to converge on stores and replace the price tags with new labels saying "34p – Exploitation". War on Want, an anti-poverty charity, has handed out 14,000 protest price tags to volunteers who will target Adidas' own-brand stores and retailers who stock their clothing.

The German sportswear company has denied the 34p figure and claims that the workers in question earn double that figure.

The campaign to highlight low wages paid to sweatshop workers in the developing world has been bolstered by investigations in the run-up to the Olympics. Organisers say they will be the most ethical Games yet, but questions have been raised over how effective those promises have proved.

Adidas, an official Olympics sponsor, aims to make more than £100m from the Games. In April The Independent uncovered violations of workers' rights in Indonesian factories producing Adidas clothing.

Employees were found to be working up to 65 hours a week for a wage that worked out at 34p an hour – significantly below the living wage that the Olympics organising committee, Locog, has requested all official sponsors pay their workers.

Last year The Independent also revealed how workers at a Turkish factory making socks for Adidas were sacked when they tried to unionise. Adidas strongly denied that clothing manufacturers are paid poor wages in their contracted factories and said that the Indonesian workers received more than double the 34p an hour they claimed to be getting.

"Adidas takes all allegations about working conditions extremely seriously and is fully committed to protecting worker rights," a spokesman said. "We are exceeding the high standards set by Locog."