The Olympics haven't even started, but the drama already has a running start!
Over the weekend, London's Telegraph newspaper ran an article that accused Adidas of underpaying workers producing merchandise for the summer Olympics.
The report alleged the Shen Zhou factory workers are being paid $120 a month for 10 hour work days, six days a week. They're also forced to live in "squalid conditions" and sleeping three people to a bed.
Adidas released a statement on Monday denying the Telegraph's accusations:
"Workers at the factory earn an average of $130 a month, which is well above the minimum wage. It is important to note that the industry has agreed to introduce higher allowances in Cambodia from September, and we will ensure our suppliers pay those wage increases.
The Adidas Group only conducts business with overseas manufacturers who work in a fair, honest and responsible manner. We have strict procedures in place to ensure that the individuals employed to make Adidas products are paid and treated fairly. Furthermore, all factories that work with us are subject to regular labor, health and safety audits conducted by independent third parties in association with the Fair Labor Association and Adidas’ compliance team."
The retailer said that all the London 2012 products are on London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games list of suppliers is available online, which means they meet the workplace standards as per a signed manufacturing agreement.
LOCOG said they are taking this allegation seriously, and will be investigating the situation, adding:
"We understand that the Shen Zhou factory is part of the internationally recognized ILO labor rights program, which means that it is inspected by the ILO or World Bank program. We regularly remind all of our licensees of the importance we place on the sustainable sourcing code they have each signed up to. LOCOG is one of only a small handful of organizations in the world that has a robust grievance mechanism in place."
So could it really be true that Adidas is underpaying their workers?
That would be terrible, but it wouldn't be the first time something like this has happened.
Let's hope it's not true!
[Image courtesy of Adidas.]