Skip to content

Michigan unhappy with how Adidas handled worker’s rights in Indonesian factory dispute

May 1, 2013, 12:12 PM EDT

Michigan Media Day Basketball

A number of college and universities that have apparel contracts with Adidas, including two of their most well-known clients in Michigan and Wisconsin, have taken issue with the clothing company, according to a report from Kristi Dosh of ESPN.com.

The issues centers around the closing of an Indonesian factory called PT Kizone, and the Workers Rights Consortium (WRC) has gotten involved.

According to a report that the WRC produced, in September of 2010, the violations committed by PT Kizone began when they stopped making compensation payments to employees after they left the factory. Three months later, in December, the factory failed to pay their current employees. The owner of the factory then fled the country, and after another company purchased the factory in March of 2011, it was finally closed and declared bankrupt that April.

Here’s where Adidas, who, along with the Cowboys and Nike, had a contract with the factory, comes into the equation:

The WRC, United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) and other worker rights advocacy groups claimed adidas was refusing to pay $1.8 million in legally mandated severance owed to the 2,800 workers of PT Kizone. Total severance and other pay due under Indonesian law to the workers, who had no advance notice of the factory’s closure, totaled $3.3 million. Both Nike and the Dallas Cowboys contributed partial severance, but for nearly two years, adidas has maintained it does not owe any of the monies.

Michigan, who is as big of a brand name as there is in collegiate athletics, is in the middle of a 10-year, $60 million contact with Adidas signed in 2007. They threatened to reexamine their contract if this situation wasn’t handled, and on April 24th, Adidas reached a settlement with PT Kizone.

Adidas has made waves over the course of the past two college basketball postseasons by giving the programs that they sponsor fancy new uniforms to wear.

It started last March when they gave the likes of Baylor and Louisville fluorescent uniforms to wear during their conference tournaments. It continued this season, as the apparel company gave their six biggest accounts new uniforms to wear during the season that looked an awful lot like zubaz.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Latest Posts
  1. USC Upstate assistant Kyle Perry promoted to associate head coach

    Jul 23, 2014, 9:59 PM EDT

    USC Upstate Athletics USC Upstate Athletics

    Perry’s been at USC Upstate since 2009, and among the players he’s helped recruit was former great Torrey Craig.

  2. Report: New Orleans lands graduate transfer Kevin Brown

    Jul 23, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT

    Terry Rozier, Wayne Blackshear, Kevin Brown AP

    Brown averaged 5.5 points per game and made 13 starts in 35 appearances for the Ragin’ Cajuns.

  3. Merv Lindsay is transferring from New Mexico

    Jul 23, 2014, 6:30 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Lindsay played his freshman season at Kansas

  4. Malik Beasley looking to capitalize on a big spring, summer

    Jul 23, 2014, 5:00 PM EDT

    Kelly Kline/Under Armour Kelly Kline/Under Armour

    Beasley has been one of the nations top performers over the last three months

  5. Maker’s Mark releases a special ACC/Tom Jurich bottle (PHOTO)

    Jul 23, 2014, 2:55 PM EDT

    Louisville Athletics Louisville Athletics

    It’s the latest in a long line of bourbon bottles commemorating celebrities in the state.

  6. The Battle of the Pitinos may become an annual occurrence

    Jul 23, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT

    Richard Pitino

    Rick vs. Richard could get awkward for the rest of the family

  7. The latest allegations against Doug Wojcik involve a physical confrontation

    Jul 23, 2014, 12:57 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP

    Will this be enough for Charleston to finally get rid of their embattled head coach?

  8. Top 15 recruit Antonio Blakeney has made the ‘jump’ — literally — to elite status

    Jul 23, 2014, 11:19 AM EDT

    Nike Nike

    Blakeney is now on the radar of programs like Kentucky and Louisville.

  9. Time lapse of Iowa State’s refurbished court (VIDEO)

    Jul 23, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 9.26.42 AM

    Iowa State repainted their court.

  10. Is the College of Charleston close to making a decision on head coach Doug Wojcik?

    Jul 22, 2014, 10:30 PM EDT

    Doug Wojcik AP

    The College of Charleston Board of Trustees meets on Wednesday.

  11. Iowa State forward Jameel McKay denied wavier, eligible to play in December

    Jul 22, 2014, 9:30 PM EDT

    Fred Hoiberg

    The transfer forward will miss the first nine games of the season.

  12. Highlights from the 2014 Nike EYBL Peach Jam (VIDEO)

    Jul 22, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT

    AP AP

    Seven minutes of highlights from this past weekend’s Nike Peach Jam.

  13. Northern Kentucky eligible for the 2015 Atlantic Sun tournament

    Jul 22, 2014, 7:15 PM EDT

    Dave Bezold Dave Bezold

    But they aren’t yet eligible for the NCAA tournament. Click to see why.

  14. Isaiah Austin has a job with the NBA once he finishes degree at Baylor

    Jul 22, 2014, 5:54 PM EDT

    Isaiah Austin Isaiah Austin

    Isaiah Austin is returning to Baylor. Once he gets his degree, he’ll have a job with the NBA.

  15. Montrezl Harrell says he’d be willing to play for Louisville football

    Jul 22, 2014, 4:30 PM EDT

    montrezl harrell Getty Images

    Imagine 6-foot-8, 235-pound Harrell in a helmet and shoulder pads.

  16. July Live Period Week Two Superlatives

    Jul 22, 2014, 3:16 PM EDT

    Nike Nike

    The second installment of our weekly awards.

  17. Iowa State’s Georges Niang carries extra motivation – and less weight – into 2014-15

    Jul 22, 2014, 11:44 AM EDT

    Georges Niang AP

    Niang, who has dropped some 25 pounds since the end of the season, is looking to have an even greater impact as the Cyclones work to account for the losses of Melvin Ejim and DeAndre Kane.