UW Sues Adidas, Seeks Compensation For Indonesian Workers

Ann McClure's picture
Monday, July 16, 2012

The thorny, long-running dispute between the UW-Madison and Adidas over the apparel giant's labor practices in Indonesia landed in Dane County Circuit Court Friday. The university alleged in a lawsuit that Adidas — which outfits UW-Madison athletes and coaches — must pay Indonesian workers up to nearly $2 million still owed for back wages and benefits to honor a code of conduct provision in its contract.

"The Board of Regents asserts that the contract obligates Adidas to pay the legally mandated benefits owed the PT Kizone workers," the suit says, referring to the factory whose workers once made Adidas gear.

State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen filed the suit on behalf of the University of Wisconsin System.

The company defended itself in a statement: "In ongoing discussions with the university, we have provided clarifying information on the issue and our actions. We are quite confident that the legal review by the Circuit Court of the State of Wisconsin will support our position on this matter."

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