London: Sportswear company, Adidas, has been accused of exploiting its labour in Cambodia to make official merchandise for the London Olympics by paying them a paltry ten pounds a week, and is now facing an investigation in the matter.
Adidas is one of the 2012 Games’ biggest sponsors, and is believed to have invested 100 million pounds in the games. The company has also manufactured the official Team GB outfit.
But at the company``s Shen Zhou factory on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital, it has been discovered that poor machinists were working up to 10 hours a day, six days a week, to produce the official Olympics merchandise.
The labourers, who are working in neglected conditions, said they earned a basic salary of 61 dollars a month for working eight hours a day, six days a week, and were given a five dollar allowance for health care.
However, Adidas claimed on Friday that workers at the factory made an average of 130 dollars a month, and would get a pay rise later this year.
Campaigners, who are fighting against the injustice, said the treatment of the workers amounted to a breach of an agreement with the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) that merchandisers must pay workers a sustainable living wage.
A LOCOG spokesman said on Friday it was concerned by the allegations and would investigate.
“We understand that the Shen Zhou factory is part of the International Labour Organisation labour rights programme, which means that it is inspected,” a newspaper quoted the spokesman, as saying.
“We regularly remind all of our licensees of the importance we place on the sustainable
sourcing code they have each signed up to,” he added.