Instead of paying its 2,800 former PT Kizone workers in Indonesia the $1.8 million they are legally owed, adidas has instead attempted to pacify growing global dissent by handing out $35 food vouchers to its former workers, which the workers have rejected as downright insulting. Former PT Kizone workers who sewed apparel for schools like the University of Wisconsin and University of Washington have been fighting for over a year to get adidas to pay the $1.8 million still legally owed to them, nearly half a year’s wages.
Over the next two months, adidas’ name will be beamed across every corner of the world. It has paid an estimated $156 million to be the main sponsor of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, expecting that their exposure will yield billions of dollars in even more sales. Yet adidas claims it can’t pay a mere $1.8 million that are legally owed to workers who earned just 60 cents an hour making its clothes.
The food vouchers adidas has offered to its workers who are owed $1.8 million is equal to the cost of an adidas soccer ball.
Entis, who worked at PT Kizone for 11 years before the owner fled the country, describes the food vouchers as ‘abuse’: “I reject the offer of a voucher for Rp 300,000 (USD$32) from adidas. These vouchers will not cover our debts, because since PT Kizone closed we have had no income and no work. I, as a former Kizone worker and as a representative of my fellow workers, state that we demand US$1.8 million as our severance. Food vouchers is not what we want.”
On top of that, adidas representatives passed out notes with their food vouchers admitting that their re-hiring program for former PT Kizone workers has been a failure.
Workers have made it clear that a single food voucher will do nothing to help them pay school fees for their children or keep the landlord from throwing them out of their homes.
Read the letter from PT Kizone to adidas, watch Entis’s testimony below, and then tell adidas you want PT Kizone workers to be paid the half a year’s wages they worked for.