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18 Nov 2022

Nick Sommerlad, The Mirror

Thailand: Garment workers found making Qatar World Cup England shirts for £1 an hour

"England's £115 Qatar World Cup shirts made by Thai factory workers paid just £1 an hour" 18 November 2022

Factory workers in Thailand are paid just £1 an hour to make £115 England football shirts, a Mirror investigation reveals.

Fans have expressed outrage at the prices for the current strip and costs have risen faster than inflation...

There is no indication on the FA’s website of where the shirts are made but a label inside the shirts reveal they are made for Nike in Thailand.

Garment industry experts said that they expected the shirts will typically cost £11 or £12 to make at the factory.

Of this, £7.50 will be the estimated cost of materials, no more than £3
is “CMT” costs – or “cut, make and trim” including labour costs – leaving around £1.50 profit for the factory.

England shirts have been made for the last few years at the Hi-Tech Apparel factory in Bangkok.

Workers told us this summer that they earned 331 Thai baht – around £7.80 – a day, then the minimum wage in Thailand. In October, the minimum wage rose to 353 baht – or £8.30.

The factory refused to comment on its relationship with the FA and directed all questions to Nike.

But two workers, who asked not to be named, confirmed that they make England shirts for the FA...

The pair said they typically worked 60 hours a week or eight to 11 hours a day, being paid for overtime as well as a bonus if they hit targets.

One added: “There is no employee union here. During the working hours there is a no-phone policy. We are not allowed to use our mobile phones and there are no photos allowed.”

When the shirt is shipped to the UK at an estimated cost of 70p, 32% duty is charged – bringing the cost of getting the shirt to a UK warehouse to £16, experts estimated. Another £19 of the £115 is VAT, which goes to HM Revenue and Customs.

This leaves £80 which is shared between sportswear giant Nike, the Football Association and retailers. We are told Nike expects to make between 10% and 15% profit after their costs...

A Nike spokesperson said: “Nike is proud to have designed the England National Teams kits which combine high-performance innovation and sustainability.

“We produce jerseys at multiple price points, so consumers have a choice. Pricing is influenced by many factors including costs of performance materials, R&D, design, manufacturing and selling.

“In addition, Nike is committed to ethical and responsible manufacturing. We believe world-class manufacturing begins with respect for people and the environment.

“While Nike does not own or operate manufacturing facilities, we strive to work with suppliers who share our commitment to making products responsibly and sustainably.”

Workers earning £1.90 a day making World Cup clothes for Adidas have been fired over a strike.

After 400 staff at the Pou Chen footwear factory in Myanmar walked out last month, the 29 deemed responsible lost their jobs.

They wanted £3.20 a day...

Thulsi Narayanasamy, Director of International Advocacy at the Worker Rights Consortium, told the Mirror:...

"One worker who was fired survived on nothing but water for three days until fellow workers gave her food. It is an outrage that workers have been hung out to dry."

The Workers Rights Consortium claims there have been "multiple violations of Cambodian law and university labour standards at Trax Apparel" and is calling on Adidas to urge "remedial action, most importantly, the reinstatement of the workers who were illegally fired".

A spokesman said: “Adidas has objected strongly. We have called on Pou Chen to reinstate the dismissed workers.”

  • After eight 78p/hour staff at Cambodian supplier Trax were fired for union-forming, Adidas is “working to address this situation”...