The sportswear giant Adidas has reneged on its promise to demand the reinstatement of 33 workers dismissed from a big Indonesian supplier in a way the country's human rights commission has found to be illegal, Oxfam alleged yesterday.
Several top football players, including the World Cup captains of France, Zinédine Zidane, and England, David Beckham, wear the German company's boots and promote footwear made at the Indonesian plant, Panarub.
"Adidas is the top sportswear sponsor at the World Cup," said an Oxfam campaigner, Kelly Dent. "But off the field the company deserves a red card for failing to support the human rights of workers. Oxfam has not seen any evidence that Adidas has put formal pressure on Panarub."
Oxfam alleges that Adidas promised to formally pressure Panarub, after Indonesia's human rights commission ruled on May 31, in a non-binding decision, that there were insufficient grounds to dismiss 33 workers after a one-day strike.
William Anderson, Adidas's regional head of social and environmental affairs, insisted that the company had not altered its position.
"We are continuing to support the [sacked] workers," he told the Guardian. "We have requested that the factory reinstate the workers and the factory has refused to act on our request."
He said Adidas was not willing to send Panarub, which supplies it with 650,000 pairs of shoes a year, a formal warning. "If we do and the company refuses to comply, we would have no choice but to terminate relations with them. Eleven thousand people could then lose their jobs."
No one from Panarub was available for comment yesterday.
Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2006