More insults by Adidas to cheated Indonesian workers

This year, Adidas spent over $200 million on sponsorhips, but it won’t pay these workers what it legally owes them. Let’s send Adidas a message it can’t ignore


nearly two years, 2,800 former employees of the shuttered PT Kizone factory have been demanding severance pay that Adidas owes them under Indonesian law, but the world’s second largest sporting goods manufacturer has offered nothing but a series of insults. In response to criticism, Adidas gathered a meeting (without any of the workers) in Geneva, Switzerland to discuss issues related to severance pay, but didn't address the workers' immediate needs. Even though Adidas is on track to make a record US$2 billion in sales this year, it wants you to believe that it can’t pay just US$1.8 million in legally-mandated severance to workers laid off from one of its Indonesian suppliers.

Nearly 50,000 SumOfUs members signed a petition to Adidas demanding justice for the PT Kizone workers. Now it’s time to take the fight to a more public forum --Adidas's Facebook page.

Can you take a moment to send Adidas a message? It’s easy

    Click here to go to Adidas's Facebook page.
    In the top left, you can write a post. We’ve included some sample comments below to get you started.
    When you’re done, hit the “share” button. 

Here are some suggestions of what to say, or you can write your own:

    If Adidas can afford more than $200 million in sponsorships, you can afford to pay the $1.8 you legally owe the PT Kizone workers in Indonesia.
    No more excuses, no more insults. It’s time the PT Kizone workers got what Adidas owes them. Pay up now!
    Your insulting treatment of you former workers in Indonesia is already costing you clients and customers. Join your competitors in paying in paying what you owe, or we will continue to hold you accountable.
    A conference in a Swiss retreat is no substitute for fulfilling your obligation to PT Kizone workers - pay up!

If you don’t have Facebook, you can send your opinion through Adidas’ online comment form.

Here’s what happened to the workers:

The workers at PT Kizone lost their jobs when the factory was suddenly closed down in February of 2011. Last summer, under pressure from workers and their allies, Adidas offered the workers food vouchers worth US$53, which were redeemable only at a single supermarket. The workers, who were facing difficulty paying rent and their children’s school fees, immediately denounced the offer as an insult. Next, in response to the growing outcry, Adidas convened a conference to discuss the issue of severance pay. In Switzerland. Without inviting workers’ representatives. At the end of it all, Adidas once again denied that it’s responsible for the severance pay.

Adidas’s claim is absurd. Nike, which also sourced from the factory, agreed to hand over severance pay. Cornell University and Oberlin College in the United States ended their contracts with Adidas over the issue, and the University of Wisconsin is suing the corporation. Meanwhile, Adidas found over $200 million to sponsor the London Olympics and other sporting events.

While Adidas has refused to seriously address the former Kizone workers' concerns, the basic fact that it feels the need to respond to their demands is a major sign of progress. Our partners at the Clean Clothes Campaign are launchin a global week of virtual action on behalf of the PT Kizone workers today, and we think this might be the final push that’s needed to bring Adidas to the negotiating table.

Head to Adidas’s Facebook page and send them a message they can’t ignore.


Rob, Kaytee, and the team at

SumOfUs is a world-wide movement of people working together to hold corporations accountable for their actions and forge a new, sustainable path for our global economy. You can follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.