So Nike and Adidas are sweatshoppers.....
Coming in the 2017 football season...?
So Nike and Adidas are sweatshoppers.....
Coming in the 2017 football season...?
....Under Armour is now "in the conference," (founder is a Maryland guy) I think this is a genuine possibility.
Imagine running back a kick in a pair of Chucks
Bo let Billy Taylor wear maize and blue pumas.
How fast w plus denard have been in some PF fliers... Faster than Benny the Jet Rodriguez.... /sandlot
I guess this is why Michigan is going with Adidas:
University of Michigan currently enjoys the most lucrative adidas contract in college athletics, a deal worth $60 million.
IIRC one of the reasons Bill Martin went to Adidas was their environmental record and their transparency WRT their overseas production facilities. Irony!!
Word from people at Nike is that they have a countdown clock to when the adidas contract runs out, at which point they will pay 'whatever the cost' to carry the Michigan Athletics brand. Plus, nearly 2/3 of our student athletes said in their end-of-year exit interviews that they would be able to perform better with Nike products.
Fear not for the future, DB will get his money and our athletes wont have to wear tear-away jerseys.
for people smarter and more in tune with the issue than me: If the west stops using these types of shops how do those working in them make a living? Again, I don't have the answer but it is a question I always find myself coming back to when I hear about these.
I would also like to know what the average income is in these countries to get an accurate estimation on just how poorly these people are getting paid in relation to their fellow countrymen.
One thing I can say is in the economic climate we find ourselves in today, jobs are jobs. Even in my country (which has faired pretty well through all of this economic turmoil) jobs are difficult to come by and when you look at places like Spain (30% unemployment rate) it really puts things in perspective.
So what I always wonder is if we shut these things down, what would that do to those who were employed there? Also, if the pay that they receive (though very low to us) was near the average pay people receive in that country...why is it such a bad thing?
The consequences for the dismissed children and their parents were not anticipated. The children may have been freed, but at the same time they were trapped in a harsh environment with no skills, little or no education, and precious few alternatives. Schools were either inaccessible, useless or costly. A series of follow-up visits by UNICEF, local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) discovered that children went looking for new sources of income, and found them in work such as stone-crushing, street hustling and prostitution — all of them more hazardous and exploitative than garment production. In several cases, the mothers of dismissed children had to leave their jobs in order to look after their children.
This is a very tricky topic. But its just the way the global economy works right now
The circumstances that give rise to the desperation that leads seeking employment in sweatshops are engineered. There's a documentary called Life and Debt that everyone should see.
Thanks for the info on the documentary. I'll try to find that.
Just for reference, the minimum wage in Bangladesh is 38 dollars a month, citizens of other countries where these shops exist may not be so "lucky".
It's just a developmental stage in capitalism. The US, UK, and all the other industrialized nations went through this years ago.
Here is an example of your point.
Its not fair or pretty but much like bankrupcy, forest fires, and batman we fall so we can learn to pick ourselves up.
It is however our fault that american and global consumers demand price drops across all products to the point where almost every manufacturing job is being moved to the 3rd world.
It's not consumer demand for price drops - it's Capital's need for surplus-value. Market saturation happens so capital finds ways to extract more out of its costs in order to continue creating profits.
Not like this.
There was a difference between American firms paying children sub-standard wages during our industrialization and what is occurring here.
Adidas (or their contractor) is in Bangladesh specifically because life in Bangladesh is so terrible that their horrible jobs are slightly better than other alternative horrible jobs. In the US, as workers organized, and the government passes Labor Laws, coporations stayed in the country, abided by the laws, and increased wages (at least, until the last 15-20 years or so).
If the Bangladeshi government begins cracking down, or the workers start to organize, Adidas, a multi-national coporation, isn't going to stick around and pay wages while the nation develops. They will uproot, find a sweat-shop in a nation that will allow itself to be exploited, just as Bangladesh does, and all the people in their current employ will be dropped back down to where they started.
It's a fundamentally different world than when we industrialized.
"It's a fundamentally different world than when we industrialized."
Absolutely incorrect. Transportation costs have gone down, but that's it.
Your argument is sound; what people always assume is that $1US=$1 in another country so the fact that some worker is only making $38/day is blasphemy. In reality, since most of these sweatshops are located in 3rd world and/or developing economies, your choice is $38/day or farming/fishing for 12 hours a day, and then attempt to sell your wares aka no steady income.
I am still kind of at a loss as to how you can contract with someone and be on the hook for the cost of labor though, must be a low risk/high reward item the local Gov. puts in and this time it bite Adidas in the butt.
38 dollars per day (a totally hypothetical number, I know) there may be the equivelent of 200 dollars per day here when cost of living and other things are taken into account for all I know.
The poster Jblaze does offer some other ideas as to why this may be a problem that I hadn't really thought a lot about though, those being the working conditions, long hours and things of that nature.
I mean...do you see the distinction between poverty existing, and profiting from it existing?
What I asked was whether these jobs were really that much worse in terms of pay and working conditions than other jobs that people of that country have to pick from? If they are than that's one thing, shut them down. If they aren't though, and these people actually like the jobs and live well off the pay they receive (when comparing them to others in the same country) what does removing shops like this accomplish? Probably nothing more than putting a shit load of people out of work.
I would be all for Adidas and any other company who takes part in things like this to provide work here in North America because heaven knows there are plenty of people looking for jobs here. The problem then becomes what happens to all those people who were once under their employ in these third world countries?
I mean...it's easy for you or me to sit here and look down our noses at the money these people make when jobs pay so much more here. What I want to know is what THEY feel about it. Not you or me, but the people who are actually doing the work and getting the money. Do they feel exploited? I don't know the answer to that question but that is what I'm interested in not what some guy living in Chicago thinks about it.
You and I might think we're doing the right things and for the right reasons but those who are actually affected by the loss of these jobs might not thank us for taking food off their tables.
The argument is not for Adidas to pull production from foreign soil and place it in the US. Being in foreign lands is not what landed them in this place.
Contracting with factories that subject workers to subhuman and unsafe conditions (as evidenced by the recent disaster in Bangladesh) in countries with corrupt governments that subject them to no regulation is the problem. I don't want "the food taken off the table" of Bengladeshi's, I want a multi-billion dollar corporation to not use the poverty of a third-world hell-hole as an opportunity to make an extra 5% in margin. Put the production in Bangladesh, hell put ALL the production in Bangladesh. Just:
1) Don't conciously put production in places for the express purpose of shirking government regulation
2) Don't produce goods in unsafe place.
Adidas is more than powerful enough to make their contracted labor provider use a building that isn't falling down. They decided to not do anything about it. That's the problem.
I think I am not expressing what I want to say very well so I'll try one last time. I have all the same issue with what has happened as you do and agree 100% with what you are saying. I also don't have nearly as good a grasp on all the politics that go on in situations like this (which you seem to from your posts).
But when I read posts like yours it seems that they are saying (to me at least) that in a perfect world this is what should happen. My point is just that we don't live in a perfect world, so would people in west making a big stink about what happened in Bangladesh make Adidas more accountable and have them clean up their act or would it cause them to close up shop and move to another unfortunate country where they could simply do the same things?
If the answer is they would clean up their act than I would be behind it 100%. If it meant that Bangladesh would develop labour laws and protect their workforce that would be fantastic. But if the answer is they would simply pack up and move (which seems more likely in my admittedly limited understanding) than all that would be accomplished is many people becoming unemployed.
Anyway, I just wanted to make my point more clear in that I agree with everything you're saying. I just wonder whether in the reality of the situation these changes people speak of are all that likely to come to pass or if they are just a fantasy, and pushing will just leave lots and lots of people out of work. I want to be clear...It's the people I am concerned about, not any of these companies that exploit them.
I used to do a lot of travel back and forth to india in the 2004-2007 timeframe. Jobs such as a live in cook/house keeper or full time driver (and I really do mean full time, like sleep in the car full time) paid on the order of $100-150 US per week iirc and were generally considered reasonably desirable jobs by many people there. In many parts of the world, what is considered a sweatshop in the US can actually be a fairly highly desirable job. And reasonably make the difference between homeless and/or starving and living a survivable life.
I assure you Capital will never pay for labor at a price greater than the maintenance of the local standard of living. It has absolutely no insentive to do so and every incentive to pay as little as necessary. To not do so would be "leaving margin on the table."
I think the biggest issue is really the lack of roots of these factories. For example there used to be a lot more athletic shoes made in Thailand, however overtime using internal and external pressure the workers pushed the daily wage in the factories up. Eventually the workers finally got brave enough to demand a sizable raise and within a year many of the factories had relocated to China. Supposedly the same thing has been happening in the electronics industry.
Basically the factory isn't capable of becoming an engine of economic advancement, it is just there to exploit the fact that working in a shitty factory for shitty pay is slightly better than working on a shittier farm for shittier pay. Plus the profits go to the parent company which is located in some other country, so the nation state as a whole doesn't get a benefit. At least during America's sweatshop area the money stayed within America since American companes ran the sweatshops.
Also's China's impact on all of this is a problem. The Chinese government actively works to control the wages of migrant workers to keep China attractive for manufacturing. Many companies love setting up in China because they tell the workers "We'd totally bump you from $1.25 a day to $1.50 a day, but the CCP says we can't."
What you describe is a textbook definition of exploitation.
It would be more concise for you just to state that you believe in the exploitatin of poverty to maximize profits.
Howver, we don't believe that to be true in the US. Such an approach is described as "unethical" and "immoral."
Sorry if your post wasn't directed at me but I am having a difficult time figuring out who is responding to whom in this thread.
I will say that if it was me it was directed at I absolutely don't agree with the exploitation of poverty to maximize profits. The only people I am concerned about in any of this are the people who have to live in these countries.
I couldn't care less if adidas went under tomorrow, or any other company who takes part in these practices. I also couldn't care less if I had to pay extra for a t-shirt if it meant these folks could make a better living doing what they do. My concern is what happens to these employees if we stop these companies?
I think the problem is we keep trying to compare what these people are making and the environments in which they are working to what we have here in North America...but they aren't in North America. Perhaps when compared to other workers in the same country these people might not feel as "exploited" as we like to think.
I guess what I am saying is maybe these people are happy with what they have. If that's the case, what right do we have to close down these shops and in so doing render thousands of people unemployed just because it doesn't align with what we think is "ethical"?
Again, what I have is questions, not answers but many here think they have the answers when really it just looks like they are making a lot of assumptions without any facts.
Ignorance is bliss and happiness that results due to a lack of understand from opprtunity cost is meaningless.
For example in this documentary check out at the 25:00 minute mark, where the public face of the union says exactly what the company wants her to say (everyone is happy, etc). Right after that you get the workers saying what they really think. I definitely recommend watching the entire thing.
This isn't the best example, but lets say your town builds the Hoover Dam. 22 people will die during its construction, but soon after you'll have the giant cash cow that is Las Vegas due to the economic resources generated by the dam. Whereas lets say your town builds a garment factory, no one dies but five generations from now your kids are still are still sewing together Nikes in sweatshop conditions due to the fact pay has never gone much above the subsistence level.
In both of those cases, you're happy because both dam construction and shoe sewing pay better than farming, but one of those cases you're getting screwed in the long run. However you're happy due to your lack of education or economic knowledge and the fact you no longer run the risk of being gored by a water buffalo while farming. If you educated a worker on what he (well likely his kids and grandkids) could have had by following a Korean or Japanese model of industralization versus working away at a garment factory, I bet he's suddenly a lot less happy.
I'd also say you're overreacting in terms of closing down the factories and rendering people unemployed. No one, aside from some insane fringe groups, wants to just close it down and create unemployment. The issue is that despite having billions of dollars of market share these companies are not engaging in sustainable actions that will get the people beyond subsistence level. Instead they're just hiring 8 year olds and making them career shoe assemblers. In fact when the companes are asked to engage in sustainable activity (al la Indonesia) they (well Addidas) breaks the law to avoid paying out anything. Or when unions form and actually demand fair wages, the company just up and relocates to some other area where the labor isn't organized.
I would add that many times I have seen the benefits of producing goods in "3rd world countries" to be low/ no concern to the environment, which equals lower cost. The US has very strong environmental regulations that just aren't there in a country like Bangladesh.
The other issue is humane treatment. It's not so bad that people (sometimes kids) are paid little vs US wages, but that they are treated so poorly (super long work hours, no workers comp, no breaks...).
Just so you know, the issue that caused the recent bad press wasn't the use of child labor but they closed a shop and refused to pay the workers what they were owed.
Has Adidas done anything well with Michigan? Honestly. Has anyone ever thought to themselves, "Wow, that _______ is impressive. Good job Adidas!" Well, they do pay lots of $? Ah, I guess that's the only thing that matters in college sports now, so as long as they keep the money flowing...
I personally liked the Sugar Bowl uniforms and the basketball throwback this year.
2013 football t-shirt.
2013 gear is starting to come out on MDen
To answer your question: NO
I didnt know the whole shirt-as-a-dress womens fashion thing was crossing over into guy's fashion. Looks like I'm going to have to shave these chewbacca legs if I'm wearing that shirt...
/s in case you dont get the joke.
Bring back Nike; that is all.
I like my Adidas hoodies. Very comfortable. Better than the Nike ones IMHO.
At the same time, MBB and the football team's jerseys look cheap.
Howeva, I'm not sure that I want to see what the LSD-addled designers of the COMBAT UNIFORMZ!!!! will come up with for Michigan.
Finally, for the poster above who advocated UnderArmour, I present for your viewing pleasure
Don't mind the matte black helmets...just everything else.
contrast that with the fantastic job they did for Northwestern. ultimately its up to the school to OK or not OK the designs. The Thunderbees jerseys, the horrific Alabama Jerseys and the Capital One bowl disasters are all our university's fault for saying "yeah, we can do that." I assure you, there's no way in hell they have creative control over what we wear on game days.
People way overdo the adidas thing. The clothing is not that bad. Adidas makes better hoodies and sweatpants then Nike. And im pretty sure Addas put in the contract a guarantee that U-M would be the highest paid university. The only thing I miss about Nike is real maize. People don't remember this but Nike was ready to leave us in 2000 because of the student protests. In 07' they were trying to lowball Bill Martin. Supposedly we didn't have the cache anymore.
The big thing here is money. 32million more than Nike over 8 years. Think about that and how long our basketball facilities went into decay. The cost for the player devolopment center was 23 million. 53 Million for renovating Chrysler. Cut 32 mil out of our budget, do those things happen? Maybe they do, maybe they don't. But at the very least the Adidas $ has helped.
As a supplement to the discussion, here is the lawsuit filed by the University Of Wisconsin last July (LINK).
One of the more interesting portions of the filing asserts that Adidas indeed also broke Indonesian labor laws in the process. As of the time the suit was filed last summer, that they had been the only company that employed the facility to not contribute towards the government's calculated total compensation for the 2,700 employees (some $1.8 million of $3.4 million at that point in time). I assume that the settlement means this lawsuit eventually gets dropped (per the article), but it is still an interesting read.
Not to overly stereotype labor laws in LDCs but if you are BREAKING INDONESIAN LABOR LAWS your labor practices probably really suck.
Keep it simple. Keep it classy.
It don't matter who makes it.
UA did right by Auburn.... traditional, classy, looks great.
They could easily do that for Michigan.
My son is obsessed with UA so I buy tons of it. It's total garbage quality wise and I'm being serious. I won't let him even try the shoes on because they look so cheap. I could live with going back to Nike but I'd cry for eons if we went to under armour.
The shoes are not very good (minus the spine runners), but their clothing is amazing.
source: I work in retail.
If Michigan were to decide to go another way, would they be able to get out of the contract if they found some serious violations by Adidas? I guess it depends on the contract probably.
It's good that Mary Sue Coleman and other schools are putting pressure on them, though.
I don't think that it's even the look(even though that's important) as it is . Some of my favorite memories of Michigan are with the Nike jerseys, and my favorite memory with adidas are some of the ugliest jerseys that I only like because of the UTL win.
Bottom line its capitalism... We want cheap things and apparently this is what it takes. Do i like it, no? Is it reality? Yeah. Should we ditch everyone of them and then just make our own on campus? Sure why not.
I'm sensing an undergrad work study opportunity here.
We have the design capabilities, engineers to help, lawyers to build the business and b school folks to sell. Why not? Far fetched, but one can dream.
A good article on this, no matter what your thoughts on it (exploitation vs cost of developing a country's capitalist structure).
The ahtletic department should make the switch to American Apparel already
(Because I bet many people know why this would actually be a good idea) American Apparel is an outspoken advocate for fair trade and they are a company that actually has decent standards for their overseas factories.
This argument is so dumb. Nike put out tons of crap back in the day that sucked. There was just no uniformz and no internet message boards.
Re: Nike. I like UA for most workout gear over Nike. Everything from sweat pants to tshirts, boxer jocks, etc. So not sure why there is so much nostalgia. If anything UA has it going in the right long term direction.
Sorry mate, got to respectfully disagree. Adidas has the worst design team on the planet as Adidas has destroyed European soccer uniforms as well. Over the years I have seen zero improvement from Adidas in terms of designs or clothes. Again, my humble opinion, but Adidas designs seem like they are created by LA Gear's old design team. Soon to a stadium near you, flickering lights in the cleats. The only redeeming quality about Adidas was Run DMC. Since then it's been a poor mix of "Saved by the Bell" apparel meeting LA Gear. Cheers
UA/Maryland would likely flip their shit, but the majority of the conference is sitting in the Rust Belt which has plenty of surplus manfacturing capability. Why not drop a BTN Brand of clothing? We get all excited over 20 million in TV revenue, but if Addidas can pay us 60 million a year clearly they're making more than than that so there is even more money in clothing. Clearly you can't make such insane profit margins when you're paying American workers, but between automation and cutting out the middleman, there must be money to made. New Balance manages to make money on their made in America shoes after all. Maybe we could partner with UA like how we partnered with Fox for BTN.
Now, if you set up shop in North Carolina, maybe. That said, be prepared to pay $5 more a shirt at least, and the workers still are paid US minimum wage.
FWIW the Michigan flag I bought in Ann Arbor was produced in North Carolina. (I guess the carbon footprint of it being shipped to Ann Arbor, and me driving to Ann Arbor and back may still be less than if it came from Asia.)
Agree with several poster's above: until our society decides it is better to buy less stuff at higher prices companies will continue to look the other way for lower cost. However, if our society decides to do that, I wonder what the economic impact will be to low cost developing markets.
So who are we going to go with if Nike and Adidas are out of the picture for us? Under Armor?! Nooooooo! Uniformz chaos!
Northwestern's uniforms look pretty awesome. They've not produced anything that's worse than Nike Pro Combat uniforms.
I hate the level of shadiness with apparel companies. I feel for those who need jobs abroad, but there should be more pressure on these companies to either manufacture in the US or pay fair rates overseas. It's evil IMO to pay people less than living wage so you can turn a higher profit, and the sad part is that the teams (pro and college) that do business with these companies turn a blind eye when the price is right unless it blows up in the media. The beast keeps getting fed....
I thought they were getting sweaty.
Short history lesson about student activism:
The UM student group SOLE and possibly USAS were major movers nationally in holding universities accountible with the massive contracts in play with these uniform and apparel contracts. A lot of work has gone on for some time but especially in the mid 2000s. Meetings with regents, massive demonstrations, sitins around and in MSC's office, etc. Many of SOLE's members would likely say that MSC was not a good partner in this but rather was pulled along extremely difficultly and against her will.
I don't know the exact situation on campus these days nor MSC or the university's true position, but I know that it has moved in the last 5 to 10 years. And I think a lot of credit should go to those students that invested so many hours, and sometimes arrests, to try and help our university stand as true national leaders in social/economic matters.
(I was not part of SOLE, but I worked with them on related projects and saw their effort and dedication)
The arc of justice is slow, but it bends towards justice.
K-Swiss TUBES!!!! Who’s coming with me???