On June 11- the kick off of the adidas-sponsored Euro 2012 soccer tournament – PT Kizone workers and their families took to the streets and marched in Jakarta to demand adidas pay the $1.8 million dollars owed to them in severance pay.
The workers stopped at the German Embassy, calling on them to pressure adidas, which is headquartered in Germany, to comply with their commitments to Indonesian workers. They marched on to the British Embassy, demanding that the money owed, a tiny fraction of the $160 million adidas paid to sponsor the London 2012 Olympics, is paid now. One worker told journalists that “adidas succeeded in becoming a London 2012 Olympics sponsor – why are they leaving workers hanging?”
Protesters in Jakarta were joined by activists across Europe, including in Austria, Spain, Denmark and the UK , who organised a variety of actions outside adidas stores in major cities to highlight the plight of Kizone workers and to demand that adidas pay up.
PT Kizone workers reject adidas’s insulting “food voucher” proposal.
Just days after the demonstrations took place adidas asked to meet with both the district level union, which represents the majority of PT Kizone workers, and the factory-level union. This is the first time adidas has agreed to meet with the union body that the majority of workers have chosen to represent them. At the meeting, which took place on June 12, adidas presented a plan to provide food aid worth approximately US$86,000 too all of the Kizone workers prior to Eid al-Fitr, a key holiday in the Muslim calendar, which this year falls in mid-August.
Both unions rejected this as an inadequate response, and demanded that adidas ensure workers receive full severance. In fact workers had already made clear that food vouchers were not sufficient to resolve this dispute. In a letter sent to adidas the previous week they stated;
“While we are desperately in need of any form of financial support for our families we are insulted by the idea that adidas needs to “assess” who among us is in “true need.” We earned this severance and we can assure you that our families need it. Our children are hungry but food vouchers will not keep our children in school or our families in our homes. We call on adidas to ensure we receive all the money we are legally owed and that we earned making adidas products…”
Following the meeting one worker stated that “This [offer] is not compensation or genuine care from adidas; rather, this is an insult to all of us.”
adidas is admitting that the workers who sewed their apparel for our Universities are literally starving. Last week, adidas entered mediation with the University of Wisconsin, who is considering severing their multi-million dollar sponsorship agreement with adidas over adidas’s refusal to pay PT Kizone workers. Take action here and demand UW Chancellor David Ward stand up to adidas and cut the contract for violating the code of conduct and refusing to pay the $1.8 million legally owed to workers.