• In early 2006, Reebok was acquired by German sportswear giant, Adidas.
• In 2006, Reebok issued a voluntary recall of 300,000 charm bracelets in the U.S. and 145,000 in Ireland and the U.K. following reports that a child in Minneapolis died from lead poisoning after swallowing the jewelry, which has been given away with children's footwear since 2004. The bracelets were 99 percent lead.
• At a Turkish factory, workers claimed to received wages well below the poverty line, were required to put in 10 hour days, and were threatened that the factory would close if workers tried to unionize.
• At a factory in Honduras, the National Labor Committee reports that women sew approximately 4.4 jerseys per hour for which they are paid 19 cents per jersey--less than three tenths of one percent of the jersey's retail price, which is $75. Estimates claim that wages for a week of work will only cover 35 to 55 percent of the total weekly expenses for a family of three.
• You can find sportswear that doesn’t exploit people or the planet. Visit Go Green to learn how.
-- Profile Updated 07/01/2010
Reebok International manufactures athletic, dress, and casual footwear. The company also produces sports apparel. Reebok employs 6,700 people and is based in Canton, Massachusetts. In 2004 the company reported revenues of $3.49 billion and 9,102 employees. On January 30, 2006 Reebok was acquired by rival Adidas for approximately $3.8 billion.
Clean Clothes Campaign
The Clean Clothes Campaign is an international campaign that aims to improve working conditions and to empower workers in the global garment industry, in order to end the oppression, exploitation and abuse of workers in this industry, most of whom are women.
OnField Apparel Group - Indianapolis, IN
- OnField Apparel Group - Mattapoisett, MA
- The Hockey Company Holdings Inc. - Westmount, Canada
The Hockey Company Holdings Inc. - Westmount, Canada
- The Rockport Company, LLC - Canton, MA
Canton, MA 02021 USA
After the National Labor Committee published a report in February of 2010 alleging that women were paid 10 cents to sew Jerseys at a factory in El Salvador that were sold for $80 at Reebok retail stores, the company sent a team of investigators to the Chi Fung factory to assess these claims. They found that women were not paid their overtime wages and denied incentives promised to them, temperatures at the factory were extremely high and the air was dusty, the bathrooms were filthy and the drinking water was unsafe, the electrical wiring was unsafe, and the workers had no right to organize or unionize. Since their visit, Reebok has found that conditions are improving at the factory.
-- National Labor Committee, 04/13/2010
Source URL: www.nlcnet.org/alerts?id=0012
An Oxfam International report called “Offside! Labour Rights and Sportswear Production in Asia,” examines how twelve international sports brands are confronting worker rights issues in factories, particularly the right to form and join trade unions. Reebok acted swiftly and decisively in response to violations of trade union workers’ rights in Factories A and B, two Indonesian factories that workers wish to remain unnamed. Reebok worked in partnership with labor rights organizations, promptly launching an investigation upon hearing trade union workers’ complaints. The company applied pressure to its suppliers for workers’ rights compliance, expressed concern over the number of temporary workers, and continuously assisted workers with its human rights staff. Such actions have compelled the management at Factory A to terminate its business relationship with Reebok.
While Reebok has a record of supporting trade unionists, Oxfam International challenges the corporation to examine this issue on a global scale. Oxfam urges Reebok to:
- Properly investigate allegations of discrimination against trade union members, especially in nations where the courts and government are under-resourced
- Increase transparency to ensure their buying practices do not have negative impacts on workers and their right to organize
-- Oxfam, 06/01/2006
The National Labor Committee’s May 2006 report, “US-Jordan Free Trade Agreement: Descends into Human Trafficking & Involuntary Servitude,” documented a series of worker rights’ violations at Reebok supplier Western Factory including:
- Human trafficking and involuntary servitude of guest workers
- Confiscation of passports and denial of identification cards
- Mandatory 16 to 20 hour shifts. Typical work weeks consisted of 109 hours
- Wages below the legal minimum. Workers were cheated of 65 percent of the wages legally owed to them
- Six months of withheld wages
- Inadequate and unsanitary working conditions
- Routine beatings and threats for production mistakes
The NLC also reported that factory management sexually abused four young girls, including a 16 year-old. Management falsely promised attractive, young women better jobs, higher wages, less work, and so forth. They told the girls they wanted to take them on a day trip around Jordan. Instead, the young women were brought to a hotel where the managers forced themselves on the girls.
In a July 2006 urgent update, the NLC reported that Western Factory management allegedly beat workers for requesting payment of back wages owed to them. Additionally, the management cut off food and water to the workers’ dorm.
-- National Labor Committee, 05/01/2006
Source URL: www.nlcnet.org/article.php?id=10
Reebok, along with the NBA and NFL, use the Han-Soll factory in Honduras to sew jerseys. According to the National Labor Committee (NLC), women sew approximately 4.4 jerseys per hour for which they are paid 19 cents per jersey--less than three tenths of one percent of the jersey's retail price, which is $75. Workers were forced to work overtime and are frequently cheated out of their full lunch break. The NLC estimates that the average wages for a week of work will cover only 36 to 54 percent of total weekly expenses for a family of three. Upon learning of NLC's investigation, Reebok and Han-Soll management did cut back on some of the mandatory overtime and allowed workers their full one-hour lunch break.
-- National Labor Committee, 07/22/2005
In 2005, LabourNet UK reported that 250 employees at Turkuaz/Çakil textile company claimed to be working under conditions that violate international labor standards. Workers at the factory received 210 Euros per month, a wage that is well below the poverty level. The work week is seven days and employees are required to put in 10 hours per day. Managers threatened to close down the factory when workers began to organize and associate with outside trade unions. Turkuaz/Çakil sews garments for and subcontracts to Reebok as well as Banana Republic, French Connection and other international brands.
-- LabourNet UK, 06/28/2005
Nike, Adidas, Fila and Reebok were involved with a Thai supplier called Bed & Bath which closed down its factory in 2002 owing staff $ 400,000 in back pay. Workers claimed they were forced to work through the night and even drugged to keep them awake.
-- Independent on Sunday, 09/07/2003
Source URL: www.cleanclothes.org/urgent/02-12-04.htm
Dougguan Elegant Top Shoes in China produces shoes for Reebok and Fila. A 2001 report by the Chinese Labor Watch revealed that the factory used child labor and subjected workers to methybenzene and other hazardous chemicals without protection. Work weeks exceeded 60 hours and women were subjected to sexual harassment. Wages were about $25 a week
-- China Labor Watch, 01/01/2001
Dita Sari, an Indonesian activist, rejected a human rights award given to her by Reebok, saying the company was hypocritical. Reebok chose to present her with the award after she led a strike of 5,000 workers of a Reebok and Adidas contractor in 1995. She was "arrested and tortured by the police" for demanding a wage increase and maternity leave for workers. Sari was released from prison in 1999 and has since been building a union in plants in Java. Sari claims that after seeing the work of Reebok's contractors first-hand, the company is not actually doing much to help the workers. She believes Reebok's award is a "phony" attempt at being dedicated to fair treatment of employees -- workers are still being paid the absolute minimum legal wages while the company continually makes large profits. Sari turned down $50,000 from Reebok, along with the award.
-- CorpWatch, 02/07/2002
Source URL: www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=1769
Health and Safety
Reebok issued a voluntary recall of 300,000 charm bracelets in the U.S. and 145,000 in Ireland and the U.K. following reports that a child in Minneapolis died from lead poisoning after swallowing the jewelry, which has been given away with children's footwear since 2004. The bracelets, made by a contractor in China, are composed 99 percent of lead.
-- BBC News, 03/24/2006
Source URL: news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4840188.stm
Ethics and Governance
In 2004, Chairman and CEO Paul Fireman made $6,503,063 in total compensation including stock option grants from Reebok International. And Fireman has another $72,527,850 in unexercised stock options from previous years.
-- AFL-CIO, 01/01/2004