Besides sports footwear, Adidas AG makes other products such as: bags, shirts, watches, eyewear, and other sports and clothing related goods. The German company is the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe and the number two producer in the world.
Their dispute with the University of Wisconsin-Madison concerns the giant’s refusal to help compensate the nearly 2,700 Indonesian workers for legally mandated severance pay. The pay totals about $1.8 million.
The two sides met with a mediator last week in order to negotiate the current situation. According to reported telephone statements by UW-Madison’s vice chancellor for university relations, Vince Sweeney, “the dispute has not been resolved.”
The school official would not make further comments on the mediation because of the confidentiality attached to the talks. He did say that the university would continue to try to resolve the matter.
The Worker Rights Consortium issued a report in January concerning the alleged sweatshop in Indonesia, the PT Kizone factory. After the factory closed in 2011 and failed to pay their workers, some sportswear makers, such as Nike paid workers about half of their severance pay. Adidas has not contributed.
Adidas provides UW-Madison’s sports teams with equipment, uniforms and footwear. The university also earns about $2.5 million annually in collegiate royalties from the sales of Adidas sportswear.
Wisconsin’s Department of Justice represented the school at the mediation.