we are not in the welfare business. Our job is to make a profit. — Adidas CEO Herbert Hainer
Saturday War on Want put on the Exploitation Games, no corporate sponsorship necessary, outside Adidas flagship store in Oxford Street in London in protest at Adidas sourcing its Olympic consumer tat from sweatshops. Protests also took place outside Adidas stores in Manchester, Portsmouth and Exeter.
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.
Adidas are one of the sponsors of the London 2012 Olympic Games, but cannot afford to pay its sweatshop workers a living wage.
While Adidas reveals the company has already sold around £100 million of Olympic merchandise, War on Want 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.
In the run up to Exploitation Games thousands of people have written to Adidas, had tagged their clothes to expose the exploitation behind the brand, yet Adidas are still refusing to make basic commitments like paying a living wage.
No1 Top Story in The Exploitation Daily (Sunday 5 August 2012).
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- Adidas worker exploitation for London 2012 Olympics
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