Adidas pays up after two years

published 26-05-2014 15:05, last modified 26-05-2014 15:05
The PT Kizone factory in East Java closed in 2011 without paying 2,800 workers their legally required severance payments. Two companies that were buying garments from Kizone provided funds towards the total severance pay that was due. However, workers were still owed a remaining US $1.8 million. A lengthy campaign, driven by former Kizone workers and several international groups, resulted in Adidas reaching an agreement with the workers, which led to the payment of the remaining severance in June 2013, two years after the closure.
“I am grateful to God, because in my whole life I have never held this much money. Now we have experienced the bitter and the sweet since Kizone’s closure. Sometimes I was sick, but I still had to work to get money. My husband died while I was still working at Kizone, and I have had to support two children in school.”- Mukinah, a 46-year-old woman, worked at Kizone for 15 years. Mukinah planned to use her severance to pay the debts that she had amassed since Kizone closed.

After a two-year struggle and an international campaign, carried out predominately by students in the USA and the UK, and just before a planned European campaign tour, Adidas finally requested negotiations with the union representing the Kizone workers.


Footlocker

An agreement was reached on 23 April 2013 for immediate payment of severance, with the conditions of confidentiality, the cancellation of campaigning activity and the cessation of court cases between Adidas and universities. Only one day earlier, anti-sweatshop activists across Europe and the USA had been out in the streets on the 'International Day of Action for Kizone Workers'.

Kizone footlocker action
international action in Amsterdam

In Amsterdam, activists, workers and trade union delegates from all over world gathered in front of a Footlocker store, one of Adidas’s biggest retailers, to urge Footlocker to call on Adidas to ensure the factory workers were paid what they were owed.

Including the compensation paid by other brands, it is estimated that workers received about 82% of the original severance benefits they were owed.

 

See also:

We won! Adidas pays Kizone workers

Give Adidas the boot! Join the Footlocker day of action 22 April

Kizone timeline in Annual Review 2012