Your $90 to $150 world cup jersey is linked to worker exploitation.
Sporting giants are commonly linked to exploitation. Nike and Adidas are two major players in the sports industry who have been notorious for outsourcing labor to factories in Asia. Low wages, poor worker safety, and polluting practices are associated with these factories.
RELEVANT SUSTAINABLE GOALS
Whoever wins the World Cup in Qatar, garment workers lose
A New York Times article reported earlier this month about 7,800 workers making Adidas soccer boots in Yangon, Myanmar, for just $2.27 per day. According to another report from the UK’s Daily Mirror, workers in Bangkok, Thailand, are earning around $1.20 per hour for making official World Cup jerseys for Nike. There has been little improvement from the 2018 World Cup, when The Telegraph reported that Bangladeshi garment workers were earning approximately 26 cents per hour to make England’s jerseys. Moreover,the kits worn by players such as Harry Kane and Jack Grealish are produced in factories that pay low wages around the world.
#PayYourWorkesCampaign By CleanClothesCampaign
Along with 260 trade unions and labor rights organizations, the Clean Clothes Campaign is calling on major sports brands, including adidas, to negotiate with unions and sign binding agreements on wages, severance, and labour rights.
Most of adidas’ production takes place in countries where there are inadequate social protection systems, if any, and these are usually very weakly enforced, meaning workers often do not have any source of income if they lose their jobs. Workers in Indonesia, Cambodia, and other key adidas production countries have been facing hunger and are accumulating debt to afford rent and food for their families.
Despite the fact that in 2021 adidas booked a net profit of over 2.3 billion dollars, the brand refuses to take responsibility for wage theft in its supply chain. In Cambodia alone, over 30,000 workers in 8 factories that produce adidas apparel are owed 11.7 million dollars. adidas would only need to pay 10 cents more per product to ensure their supply chain is free from wage theft. Given that the brand is willing to pay upwards of $800 million sponsoring Fifa, it seems unlikely they can’t afford it.
With #PayYourWorkers, you demand that Adidas:
• Pay the workers who make their clothes their full wages for the duration of the pandemic;
• Make sure workers are never again left penniless if their factory goes bankrupt, by signing onto a negotiated severance guarantee fund; and
• Protect workers’ right to organise and bargain collectively.
Ramatex workers call on Nike-sponsored athletes to take action
When the Violet Apparel factory in Cambodia, owned by Ramatex, suddenly closed in July 2020, all of its workers lost their jobs. In response, the workers demanded their legally owed compensation, including unpaid wages and bonuses. Nike and Matalan were sourcing from Ramatex and have the responsibilty to ensure the workers are paid. The union is demanding $1.4 million unpaid compensation and damages as workers are entitled to under Cambodian law. Nike (the largest buyer from Ramatex Group) and Matalan have thus far failed to take responsibility.