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Response to the report "Clearing the hurdles - Steps to improving wages and working conditions in the global sportswear industry"

April 21, 2008

Herzogenaurach, 21 April 2008 – The adidas Group is very disappointed by the tone and content of today’s press announcement from the Play Fair Campaign, regarding their new report: ‘Clearing the hurdles - Steps to improving wages and working conditions in the global sportswear industry’. The report has been authored and issued by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the International Textile, Garment, and Leather Workers’ Federation (ITGLWF) and the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) that have come together as the Play Fair Alliance 2008.
By selectively focusing on alleged factory abuses, the press announcement fails to fairly summarise the findings and discussion presented in the Alliance’s own report. It returns to a well-worn ‘name and shame’ approach, oversimplifying issues and drawing conclusions and comparisons which have little merit.

Furthermore, no reference is made to the many positive examples and recognition given in the report to the efforts and progress made by the adidas Group in supporting improvements in working conditions in our suppliers’ factories.
Prior to the release of the report the adidas Group was given an opportunity to review the draft contents and to provide the Play Fair Alliance with its comments. A comprehensive commentary on the report is given in the attachment to this statement.
Many of the issues raised by the Play Fair Alliance report have already been taken into account in the approaches and efforts of the adidas Group. As a company we are committed to safeguarding workers’ rights and to improving workplace conditions in our global supply chain. For the past four years we have maintained an open engagement with the Play Fair Alliance and will continue to directly engage with these campaign organisations to address their concerns.