U Of Washington Severs Adidas Contract After Student-Led Actions

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The University of Washington has severed a sports-apparel contract with Adidas after a nearly yearlong campaign by students, who say the company has 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. The licensing agreement 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 a member of both the student group and the school's advisory committee for trademarks and licensing.

United Students Against Sweatshops says Adidas owes $1.8 million in severance to about 2,800 workers at its PT Kizone factory in Indonesia, which closed in January 2011. Failure to pay severance is a violation of the university's code of conduct for apparel companies, Lundgren said, and the advisory committee recommended that the contract be severed.

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