In an extraordinary month, embattled sportswear maker adidas has faced protests in both the developed and developing world.
Global solidarity at work! Co-ordination could be better though.
First up, in Jakarta, 2,000 employees of supplier PT Panarub Dwikarya initially went on strike over a number of issues including:
- a forced labour system
- unpaid wages
- freedom of association
The manufacturer, in retaliation, sacked 1,300 of them who have been on picket since. You can read the full details of their story here.
Then, last Sunday night, UK group War on Want staged an impressive display of guerrilla activism, beaming a huge “exploitation – not ok anywhere” projection onto a building within the Olympic Park in London, right after the men’s 100m final.
It certainly got people’s attention but I do hope something comes of it. Last week BusinessWeek ran a feature titled ‘Why Chick-fil-A and Other Brands Aren’t Being Bullied’. in which a corporate “crisis management” specialist made the withering assessment that
People live in short attention span theater. They get upset and then they move on.
Granted she has a vested interest in saying so, but there is more than a little truth to it.
War on Want and others can counter this by keeping it personal. Rich world consumers might have trouble keeping their attention focused but the people sitting on that picket in Jakarta today aren’t going to “move on” so quickly. They will still be there tomorrow unless the company is forced to act. The more we hear of their stories, the more likely we are to act.
Support the ‘not ok anywhere’ campaign by signing their online petition.
- The net won’t connect people by itself 20 December 2011
The ‘Not ok anywhere’ campaign video: