November 27, 2012 at 11:24 AM
UW severs contract with Adidas over labor issues
The University of Washington has severed a sports apparel contract with Adidas after a nearly year-long campaign by students, who said the company had violated the labor rights of overseas workers.
The contract with Adidas returned about $3,000 in royalties to the UW last year, said Kathy Hoggan, director of trademarks and licensing for the university. It allows the German multinational company to make sports apparel with the UW logo, which is sold in stores around campus.
The UW chapter of United Students Against Sweatshops began campaigning against the contract in February, said student Katy Lundgren, who is also a member of the school’s advisory committee for trademarks and licensing. Students say Adidas owes $1.8 million in severance to workers at its PT Kizone factory in Indonesia, and failure to pay severance is a violation of the university’s code of conduct for apparel companies.
“The process was slow, but finally we felt there was enough evidence to say Adidas was in violation of our code of conduct,” Lundgren said. Students say two other schools — Cornell University and Oberlin College — have also severed contracts with Adidas.
Hoggan said the Adidas contract is one of the school’s smaller licensing contracts. Its largest contract is with Nike.
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