Adidas pays up after two years
“I am grateful to God, because in my whole life I have never held this much money. Now we have experienced the bitter and the sweet since Kizone’s closure. Sometimes I was sick, but I still had to work to get money. My husband died while I was still working at Kizone, and I have had to support two children in school.”- Mukinah, a 46-year-old woman, worked at Kizone for 15 years. Mukinah planned to use her severance to pay the debts that she had amassed since Kizone closed.
After a two-year struggle and an international campaign, carried out predominately by students in the USA and the UK, and just before a planned European campaign tour, Adidas finally requested negotiations with the union representing the Kizone workers.
An agreement was reached on 23 April 2013 for immediate payment of severance, with the conditions of confidentiality, the cancellation of campaigning activity and the cessation of court cases between Adidas and universities. Only one day earlier, anti-sweatshop activists across Europe and the USA had been out in the streets on the 'International Day of Action for Kizone Workers'.
In Amsterdam, activists, workers and trade union delegates from all over world gathered in front of a Footlocker store, one of Adidas’s biggest retailers, to urge Footlocker to call on Adidas to ensure the factory workers were paid what they were owed.
Including the compensation paid by other brands, it is estimated that workers received about 82% of the original severance benefits they were owed.