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Report: Adidas Olympic gear made in sweatshops

The Local · 14 Apr 2012, 20:12

Published: 14 Apr 2012 15:00 GMT+02:00
Updated: 14 Apr 2012 20:12 GMT+02:00

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The Independent newspaper said its exclusive investigation showed that the way clothing is being made for Team GB and Olympic volunteers "makes a mockery of claims by London 2012 organizers that this summer's Games will be the most ethical ever."

Workers at nine Indonesian factories with contracts to produce Olympic shoes and clothing for Adidas are working up to 65-hour weeks and earning as little as 5,000 rupiah ($0.55, €0.42) an hour, the report claimed.

It also said that none of the nine factories Adidas employs pays a living wage. This is one “of the cornerstones of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) base code, an internationally recognised labour code adopted by the Olympics organising committee, Locog,” the paper wrote.

It said workers struggling to survive on such wages skip meals and send their children “away to be looked after by grandparents.”

Adidas, in a statement sent to The Local, said, "We take the recent allegations regarding working conditions at some of our suppliers in Indonesia very seriously and will immediately launch an investigation to verify the allegations which are being made and to safeguard worker interests."

That is in line with what the organising committee told the newspaper. A spokeswoman said the committee had spoken with the German sportswear giant and Adidas "assured us that they are investigating these allegations, the conclusions of which will be made public.”

"We place a high priority on environmental, social and ethical issues when

securing goods and services and take these allegations extremely seriously,"

Story continues below…

said a spokeswoman.

The 2012 Olympics run from July 27 to August 12.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:04 April 14, 2012 by Sayer
Imagine my lack of shock! It is now, and has been for a long time, the policy of Western nations and their corporate masters to keep Third World countries enslaved and poor. How else could we live like we do? If we paid them fair prices for their goods and services we would be broke overnight.
12:44 April 14, 2012 by ovalle3.14
Also on the news: water is wet and heat is hot.
15:27 April 14, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Hasn't this always been the case and don't we hear of this scandal often enough? Yet these products continue to be bought for exhorbitant prices by us in the western world. If we really felt guilty about this we would stop purchasing these brands. However we chose to prefer not to be told and to buy in ignorance. No doubt Adidas will undertake a marketing campaign and temporarily stop using said sweatshops until we forget. Then they will revert back to maximising profits as all such companies do. Nature of the beast and they are not the only ones by a long way.
15:37 April 14, 2012 by smart2012
and this is the main reason why in Western countries there are no more jobs left... and there will be less and less in the future (now india is coming, then north africa...)...
15:46 April 14, 2012 by catjones
Sayer...imagine Indonesia without the big, bad Western companies. Sweat without the Shop.
15:58 April 14, 2012 by smart2012
hei The Local, do not miss the news that a German ship was stopped bringing iranian weapons to siria.... this is another example of the hypocrisy in western countries. We have an emabargo with iran, but we transport their weapons ......
19:30 April 14, 2012 by Ganesha

Make a policy that locals work for local market... then the problem will be solved. Let developing countries like India work for their market and people in western world work for their market. Do not interfere... but this does not happen because western world wants to maximize the profit and sell the product in a reasonable price over here. That's why loads of job go to China and India.
20:56 April 14, 2012 by smart2012
@ Ganesha

I fully agree, am not blaming developing countries. This is a western countries failure and is killing our economies. China / India are doing what eu and USA were doing 30 years ago so well done. I actually would not mind to live and get a job there.
00:48 April 15, 2012 by Ganesha

yeah may be this is a chain reaction... developing countries are on way to develop and already developed countries will show the way forward I guess... like Germany is able to move forward by taking nuclear power out... going completely based on wind and solar power. This is a challenge and may be world will follow. Countries like India can not afford this(renewable energy implementation is costly). I think it is always way forward. I appreciate your thought.
04:38 April 15, 2012 by ron1amr
Nobody is really surprised because this is proof of globalisation. Consumers are as much to blame. If you look at the price of power tools, they have not gone up in price for the last 30 years. How is this so? I would much prefer to see a price and wait till I have the money or am prepared to pay the cost. This is not possible in todays world. I think most Companies are feeling the pinch of todays market so they need to take business overseas just to stay above.
10:25 April 15, 2012 by raandy
Every emerging nation ,begins with sweat shops, The USA in the late 1800s and early 1900s for example was full of sweat shops.Eventually the labor organizes and demands better conditions for workers and restricts child labor which usually results because the families can not make ends meet.

Nothing new here.

When the laborers of Indonesia organize and demand better they will get better,after all the owners of the Adidas label and Nike, ect are ripping off the public with way out of line prices,and ridiculous claims about their products quality which is no better than the geek brands.
11:37 April 15, 2012 by smart2012

U/nfortunately, looking at the current economical situation in western countries, I am not so confident like you. If I look for instance at the solar vs nuclear example, I have to admit this it is just a political thing, nothing more. Q cell (one of the biggest solar panel producer - German company) announced banbkupt last week, so it seems to me that solar was a political bluff. And keep in mind that, within EU, countries like Germany and Italy are stopping nuclear energy, however they buy from next door (France).. My feeling is that western countries will not be an example for eastern countries moving forward, as they have reached the top of the curve and they will be start declining... Actually they will be an example of what should NOT be done to keep peace and good standard of livings.. (now in Germany they are talking abot increasing again the retirement age?????????)
11:20 April 16, 2012 by Louis Prince
Well it seems very evil for western nations to produce stuff in poor countries, but it's probably more evil not to. If those Indonesians had any other choice or alternative Job they will take it, won't they and also why are there no German workers in the same condition? Easy answer, because they generate their own Jobs and if they didn't build factories in Indonesia, then the Indonesians would have died instead of working long hours for minimum wage. It¦#39;s a free market, supply and demand. Western Powers have no responsibility towards other countries; this blame shifting of poverty thing is getting old.

And Smart2012, if you would like to understand why retirement age needs adjustment (Which indicates higher life expectancy (which is better)), go and look at the life expectancy in Germany in the 1870's when the current model was developed by Otto von Bismarck and compare it with the current life expectancy . Manny first world countries are considering adjustment.
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