University of Wisconsin Launches Historic Challenge to Adidas over Sweatshop Conditions for College-Branded Apparel

Darrell Bazzell and Brian VaughnBREAKING NEWS: The University of Wisconsin Board of Regents on Friday filed a precedent-setting breach of contract claim against sportswear brand Adidas, after the company failed to comply with anti-sweatshop provisions requiring they provide certain benefits to workers who produce goods that bear the mark of the university. This is the first time a U.S. university has sought to enforce a global anti-sweatshop code of conduct in a U.S. court of law.

However, student and faculty members of a university committee advising Acting Chancellor David Ward expressed disappointment that the university had declined to summarily cancel its five-year, $11 million contract with Adidas. Workers in an Indonesian factory have been seeking more than $3 million in severance pay and other benefits since a contractor working for several U.S. brands abruptly shut down operations. According to the filing, Adidas does not dispute that benefits are owed but "has asserted that the Contract does not require it to guarantee the unpaid benefits" of a contractor. CMD will publish a more detailed account of the action during the coming days. The papers that seek a declaratory judgment against Adidas are attached below.


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