NGO highlights impact of economic model of adidas, Nike & Puma on workers in their supply chains; companies respond

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14 June 2016

« Poor sportsmanship » - Sponsors sideline workers

Author: Collectif Ethique sur l'Etiquette

[The report, in French, by Collectif Ethique sur l'Etiquette analyses the impact of the Euro 2016 three main sponsors' (adidas, Nike and Puma) economic models on workers in their supply chains.  The report claims that workers in these supply chains, mostly located in Asia, earn less than the living wage.  The report argues that this is in contradiction with the sponsors' public statements showing that they are acting more responsibly than other actors in this field.]

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Company response
13 June 2016

Nike response

Author: Nike

...We are transforming our approach to manufacturing because we know that when workers are valued, issues of compensation, overtime, workplace conditions and worker engagement will fundamentally shift. Compliance with Nike’s Code of Conduct has always been a non-negotiable requirement for our contract factories. We are now focused on working with fewer, better factory partners that share our philosophy that valued workers create a productive and sustainable business model...

As our relationship with workers and factories continues to evolve, we remain committed to the power that transparency in our supply chain brings to our role as an industry leader...

We are investing in working with our factory partners to better engage and value their workers. Since 2012, we have run a number of pilot research programs in four countries dedicated to, among other topics, testing leadership mindset and worker engagement, creating new compensation and benefit models for workers, and delivering smartphone services to support and meet the needs of workers. These efforts are aimed at engaging, empowering and connecting workers to help make positive changes inside and outside the workplace...

Download the full document here

Company response
7 June 2016

adidas response

Author: adidas

...For adidas Group, the payment of sponsorship fees has no bearing on how we manage and support working conditions in our manufacturing supply chain. And contrary to what has been stated in the NGO report, we believe we are living up to our commitment to act responsibly in sourcing our products.

The report makes some general statements about sourcing practices and manufacturing trends which we feel lack facts, are misinformed and therefore misleading...

Decisions on where to place orders are complex, they are not based on where one can secure the lowest wages, but on the interplay of available production capacity, the technical capability of a supplier to make a specific product, operating overheads and productivity levels, trade benefits for the country of origin, market access, logistics, as well as access to materials...

We are concerned about the welfare of the workers who make our products and we are taking steps to progressively improve compensation levels and deliver a fair wage. We are doing so in partnership with our suppliers and with the Fair Labor Association...

Download the full document here

Company response
7 June 2016

Puma response

Author: Puma

Sports  company  PUMA  has  been  made  aware  of   the  report  "Anti  Jeu"  by  Collectif  Ethique  sur l’étiquette,  a  French  member  of  the  Clean  Clothes   Campaign.  The  publication  states  that  sports brands  lack  a  commitment  to  build  long-­term   partnerships  with  suppliers  and  are  not  willing  to provide  means  to  improve  social  and  working   conditions.    

PUMA  offers  several  grievance  channels  to  the  workers  of  our  manufacturing  partners.  For example,  our  Code  of  Conduct  is  displayed  in  all  Tier  1  suppliers  worldwide  and  holds  the email  addresses  and  phone  numbers  of  our  compliance  team,  which  receives  and  processes  over  100   worker  complaints  each  year...

The  publication  also  mentions  that  suppliers  in  Vietnam  and  Indonesia  pay  wages  below  the minimum  wages.  PUMA  has  verified  the  wage  records  of  its  suppliers  in  Vietnam  and   Indonesia through  regular  audits.  We  are  not  aware  of  any  cases  where  a  PUMA   supplier  is  paying  less than  the  legal  minimum  wage  in  these  countries...

Download the full document here