Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Olympic Exploitation - Not OK Anywhere

On Sunday evening, as crowds were leaving the Olympic Park in Stratford after the men's 100m final, War on Want projected a giant video message onto a nearby building, in protest at the exploitation of Adidas workers around the world.

While almost everyone, it seems, is currently losing all sense of proportion and critical faculty  over this summer's Games, this action by the brilliant campaigning charity was a reminder of the other, darker side of the Olympics. Adidas has already sold around £100 million of Olympic-themed clothing whilst workers making its goods are paid poverty wages and are having to skip meals to survive.  In Cambodia, for example, workers receive £10 a week basic pay, are forced to work overtime, cannot afford decent food and live in squalid conditions. In April, the Independent reported that Indonesian workers, making Adidas clothing worn by Team GB athletes and Games volunteers, were working up to 65 hours a week for poverty pay and suffered physical and verbal abuse. Meanwhile, Adidas recorded £559 million profits  in 2011, with full-year net profits in 2012 expected to rise by 15-17%. In contrast to the company's poverty-stricken workers in the Global South, Adidas chief executive Herbert Hainer received €5.9 million (£4.6 million) in "compensation" last year.

One of the things I'm looking forward to after the Olympics are finally over is the return of decent people getting angry about this kind of thing. It can't come a moment too soon.

1 Comment:

The Price Of Olympic Gold said...

I saw this coming, didnt anyone else?

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