New Olympic protest targets Adidas
04 August 2012
New Olympic protest targets Adidas
Activists today held a special 'Exploitation Games' outside the flagship Adidas store in London amid demonstrations against the Olympics partner around the country.
The Oxford Street protest, and others in cities including Manchester, Portsmouth and Exeter, came as the anti-poverty charity War on Want condemned Adidas for making millions of pounds out of the exploitation of workers who produce its clothes.
The Exploitation Games included activists confronting the hurdles faced by Adidas workers, such as poverty wages and up to 90-hour weeks, and, after the Olympics cheats scandal, badminton to symbolise alleged unfair play by Adidas.
War on Want sweatshops campaigner Murray Worthy, who stuck its anti-exploitation poster on the London store’s window, said: “These Exploitation Games expose the ugly truth behind Adidas’s failure to uphold the Olympics values of fair play and respect. Adidas must stop raking in profits at workers’ expense and instead ensure their pay reflects the vital part they play in its success.”
While Adidas reveals the company has already sold around £100 million of Olympic merchandise, the charity points to Indonesian workers struggling to survive on pay as low as 5,000 rupiah (34p) an hour, and having to skip meals to get by.
War on Want stresses the stark contrast between workers’ poverty pay and the £529 million profits Adidas declared for 2011, as well as chief executive Herbert Hainer’s £4.6 million “compensation” last year.
It cites Adidas workers receiving far less than a living wage in the Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and China.
In addition, Cambodian workers earn £10-a-week basic pay, are forced to toil overtime hours, cannot afford decent food and live in squalid housing conditions.
- The investigation by the Independent which found 34p an hour Adidas workers is at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/exposed-the-reality-behind-londons-ethical-olympics-7644013.html
- Adidas’ response to the allegations is at http://www.adidas-group.com/en/sustainability/assets/statements/2012_04_17_adidas%20Group%20response_Indonesia.pdf
- Allegations that Cambodians earn just a £10 a week basic wage for making Adidas products are at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/olympics/news/9399363/Cambodian-workers-on-10-a-week-making-Olympics-fanwear.html
- In May, research by the Playfair 2012 campaign found workers making Adidas goods being paid poverty wages and forced to work excessive overtime. The research found people in China working from 8 am to 11 pm. In Sri Lanka researchers found people being forced to work overtime in order to meet production targets. In the Philippines, more than half the workers interviewed said that in order to cover their basic needs they are forced to pawn their ATM cards to loan sharks for high-interest loans. At all of the factories researchers visited, workers reported that they were not paid a living wage that covers their basic needs. http://www.tuc.org.uk/tucfiles/291/sportswear.pdf
- The Counter Olympics Network protest will start at 12 noon on Saturday (28 July). Assembly point is in Mile End Park, opposite Mile End Tube station. The march will begin at 1pm and proceed down Bow Road, pass along Fairfield Road, past Bow Quarter, where missiles have been installed in the face of opposition from local residents, down Tredegar Road, St Stephen’s Road and Roman Road to Wennington Green.