China: Allegations of labour abuses at factory supplying adidas (Sunday Times)

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Company response
16 April 2008

Response by adidas: Report by Sunday Times (UK) alleges labour abuses at adidas suppliers in Fuzhou, including Shunda factory.

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Article
15 April 2008

[PDF] adidas Group’s response to the article issued by the Sunday Times on March 30, 2008

Author: adidas

The Sunday Times …issued an article…containing critical comments about the working conditions in the Shunda factory, operated by the Ching Luh Group, an adidas Group footwear supplier located in Fuzhou, China. Before the publication of the article, the newspaper…contacted the adidas Group to seek our comments. On March 13, 2008 the correspondent forwarded several questions via email asking for a response…A comprehensive response was provided…Having reviewed the article in full detail, we are concerned that our comments and the additional information submitted to the newspaper have not been sufficiently taken into account…We believe that the article contains a number of erroneous conclusions. It also lacks the broader context and therefore could be misinterpreted by the reader. We have prepared a comprehensive response to the questions raised by the Sunday Times, and these are stated below.

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Article
30 March 2008

Adidas workers on £11 a week in China -- Staff complain of terrible conditions in the Olympic sponsor's factories [China]

Author: Michael Sheridan & Claire Newell, Sunday Times [UK]

…For the thousands of Chinese workers…making Adidas’s expensive trainers…one thing does seem impossible: to get fair play. An investigation by The Sunday Times into the workers’ pay and conditions has found apparent violations of China’s labour laws and Adidas’s own code of workplace standards. Workers at the factories in Fuzhou [which are owned and operated by a Taiwan-based firm] accuse the management of cheating on pay, discriminating against young men and stifling a pioneering attempt to set up a trade union...In a statement, Adidas denied discrimination. It said neither it nor the factory management had anything to do with the politically sensitive “restrictions” on the union election. The company acknowledged that most workers got only the legal minimum basic wage and said it was aware that “unrecorded overtime has taken place from time to time”. [also refers to Nike]

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