I am dismayed to report that adidas, a company I have listed as one of the “good guys” under the Companies tab, appears to be in violation of a universally accepted policy concerning workers throughout their supply chain.
As reported in The Daily, The University of Washington’s paper, the university has severed ties with adidas a year after the company refused to pay severance to Indonesian workers at the PT Kizone factory who produced licensed adidas apparel for the school. This is in direct violation of UW’s Code of Conduct “which holds companies accountable for labor violations in contracted factories”. This is not just a point in The University of Washington’s Code of Conduct, this is a commonly accepted tenet in most company Codes of Conduct in the apparel and textile industries.
Katy Lundgren, a member of United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) on the UW campus, believes USAS was a factor in the President’s decision. The group visited the president at least twice a month or more keeping the issue top of mind. USAS has been instrumental in pressuring colleges and universities to hold adidas accountable and their efforts are proving fruitful.
Cornell University was the first to sever ties with adidas over these labor rights issues followed by Oberlin College who has removed adidas from its preferred vendor list. If adidas continues its stance then Oberlin College will not renew the contract when that time comes. Cornell’s president, David Skorton, said, “We believe that severance is a basic worker’s right, as is a living wage and safe working conditions,”
Also, as a result of the University of Wisconsin threatening to pull its contract with adidas, the company is embroiled in a lawsuit brought against them by the attorney general of Wisconsin.
For more on this, including adidas’ response, follow the links below:
Fairwear until next time…..