On Thursday, April 24th, activists and unionists, organized by Clean Clothes Campaign Turkey, stood took action in Kadıköy, Istanbul at an Adidas store to deliver a letter in solidarity with the 48,000 factory workers currently on strike in Dongguan, China.
After calling on United Colors of Benetton to pay their fair share to victims of the Rana Plaza collapse, activists and unionists moved to Adidas to support the ongoing strike in China at the Yu Yuen factory which produces shoes for Adias and other large brands. The only way to prevent horrible tragedies like the Rana Plaza collapse is to ensure that workers have a strong voice on the job. This is what makes it so important that the striking workers in Dongguan get support from the international community.
As about 50 people gathered in front of Adidas, Linda Gomaa, from the International Union League for Brand Responsibility, spoke on the importance of ensuring that Adidas take direct responsibility for the unjust way in which workers were treated, because it directly profited off of their labor. After many years of working at the company, workers found that Yu Yuen was not following the Chinese law nor their own promises to workers and was stealing their own workers’ social security money! Despite Adidas and others profiting off of these workers’ labor, until now Adidas has yet to take any responsibility for ensuring that the workers that make their shoes get the money that’s been stolen from them.
CCC Turkey, joined by other community activists and unionists presented a letter to the Adidas store manager, and were met with hostility. The store manager refused to take any letter despite several attempts by activists to explain the situation. After about 15 minutes of attempts at dialogue, the activists left the letter for the manager to pass on to his supervisor.
This letter was delivered as part of a global day of action in which activists in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Melbourne, the United Kingdom, New York City, Los Angeles, and others took part in similar actions in solidarity with the Dongguan strike, which is on it’s 10th day.