Pay Your Workers - Respect Labour Rights
Poverty wages are the harsh reality of making clothes, but on top of that, in the face of crisis, workers are often being denied legally owed wages or severance if they lose their jobs. Earning poverty wages for decades have left garment workers no savings to fall back on. Moreover, with freedom of association continuously under threat in most garment producing countries, garment workers are also denied the right to collectively stand up for their rights.
At a time of crisis, the livelihood and rights of workers are usually not the first thing on brands minds. We have seen this during the pandemic, and again during crisis since, like the 2023 earthquake in Turkey and economic downturns in the wake of the Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Saving profits trumps saving workers. In the face of more catastrophes to come in the wake of the climate crisis, we can't let this knee-jerk reaction rule the industry.
That is why we need brands to sign a binding agreement to:
- Settle outstanding wage payments to workers in their supply chain for the Covid period;
- Make sure workers are never again left penniless if their factory goes bankrupt, by signing onto a negotiated severance guarantee fund; and
- Protect workers’ right to organise and bargain collectively.
Find out more about the campaign run as part of the Pay Your Workers - Respect Labour Rights coalition on payyourworkers.org
in reality adidas still owes millions to workers in its supply chain who were underpaid during the pandemic or weren't paid when their factories closed.
Workers and activists around the world are organising and speaking up to let the world know the real adidas.
We are particularly calling out adidas, but ALL brands need to sign the Pay Your Workers agreement.
Learn more in our Frequently Asked Questions.
Why do brands need to #PayYourWorkers and #RespectLabourRights?
Brands and retailers have a responsibility under international standards as well as a moral responsibility to ensure that the workers in their supply chains are not paying the price if a crisis hits the industry. As the primary profit makers in the value chain, brands have the capacity and the obligation to intervene. The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights clearly state the role and responsibilities of businesses with respect to the human rights of the people their business affects. Brands must ensure that the workers who make their clothes are paid income equal to or greater than what they received at the onset of the crisis and severance if they lose their jobs.
They can publicly show that they are safeguarding the livelihood of their workers by coming to the bargaining table with unions and signing the Pay Your Workers agreement. This will commit them to ensuring that workers in their supply chains are paid what they are owed during the pandemic, and that they will join a severance guarantee fund so that workers are never again left penniless if their factory goes bankrupt.
Attacks on labour laws, plant closures targeting unionised factories, and brands’ failure to perform human rights due diligence have systematically undermined worker protections and left workers in garment supply chains extremely vulnerable. Brands must protect workers’ right to organise and bargain collectively.
We want to put workers' voices on blast; where better than in the clothes they made but weren't paid for? The QR code leads people to this action page! Please take pictures of your action and share them online, to amplify the workers' voices even more.
Other campaign options are to write the #PayYourWorkers hashtag or a worker's quote on a sign and take take it to a shop of a brand you want to do better.
Post your picture on social media using the hashtag, tagging adidas and any other brand you want to call out.
What you can do? Read, share, and take action:
- Read more about our research into the garment industry wage gap in our reports.
- Ask adidas or your favourite brand on social media: what are you doing to #PayYourWorkers & #RespectLabourRights?
- Check out our dedicated websites PayYourWorkers.org and adidasSTEALS.com for more up to date information.
- Keep posted! More action is coming from all across our network, we will not accept that workers are left unpaid!