On Sunday night, as the crowds left the stadium War on Want beamed a 65 feet high image on a building opposite the Olympic park, exposing Adidas exploitation.
Adidas is making millions from its Olympics deal yet its not prepared to even pay a basic living wage to the workers who produce the goods. The Playfair 2012 campaign, which War on Want supports, highlighted the appalling experiences of workers making Adidas official Olympic and Team GB goods in China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines in their recent Fair Games report. Further investigative research revealed more stories of the abusive treatment of workers in sweatshop conditions in Indonesian and Cambodian factories.
Across all of the factories researchers visited, workers faced the same issues: poverty pay, terrible working conditions and threats, harassment or punishment if they try to organise trade unions to defend their rights.
Adidas spent £100 million to gain the Olympic partnership deal and has already made that back in sales of Olympics merchandise. Olympics profits aside. Adidas made £529 million profits in 2011 and Adidas Chief Executive Herbert Hainer personally made £4.6 million in "compensation".
Hainer has been in London enjoying the action. Last week he was busy telling journalists how important the Games are for the Adidas brand and for their sales. Although the real prize for Adidas will be to overtake Nike as market leader.
In one interview, when War on Wants accusations of worker exploitation were put to him, rather than promising to tackle low pay Hainer made Adidas's intentions quite clear "we are not in the welfare business. Our job is to make a profit."
London 2012 has delivered when it comes to the thrill of watching the greatest athletes in the world giving their all. It's time that it delivered for the people making its goods too.
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