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Response to alleged workplace issues found by China Labor Watch in factories in China

August 18, 2008

Herzogenaurach, 18 August 2008 – On 15 August 2008, China Labor Watch, a US-based NGO, released reports on working conditions in factories owned by three manufacturing groups in Southern China: Chengda, Supercap and Chang Ye Long, which supply sporting goods to a large number of international brands, including the adidas Group. Advanced copies of these reports were shared with the adidas Group’s Social & Environmental Affairs department, which has a longstanding working relationship with CLW. A detailed response to the issues and allegations given in the reports has been submitted to CLW for further joint action with adidas Group’s social compliance team. The response highlights many inaccuracies in the reports and includes a request for CLW to confirm whether all of the factories named are actually manufacturing adidas Group products, as the three suppliers own multiple factories and no addresses are given.
While the adidas Group accepts that there may be genuine concerns raised in these reports, which need to be investigated and addressed, we do not accept CLW’s over-arching conclusion that such issues “suggest a broader pandemic of Adidas’ poor practices in China.” Such a statement is misleading and does not reflect the high standard of compliance achieved across the supply chain in China. Nor does it acknowledge the fact that adidas Group’ suppliers provide benefits and working conditions that are among the best in the sports goods industry.
The adidas Group has a dedicated team of 13 staff in China, including highly qualified labour and health and safety experts, who regularly monitor our supply chain. Through their work we ensure that factories that make our products consistently deliver fair, safe and healthy working conditions. Our suppliers are also subject to an additional level of oversight, through independent third party audits conducted by the Fair Labor Association (FLA). The FLA combines the efforts of industry, civil society organizations, and colleges and universities to protect workers’ rights and improve working conditions worldwide by promoting adherence to international labor standards. The adidas Group is a founding member company of the FLA.
The following file details the adidas Group comments on the CLW report findings and indicates a possible course of action. The adidas Group welcomes CLW's feedback on our observations, comments and actions.