In a letter dated 30th May, 2023, unions endorsed Adidas’ pledge to donate Yeezy sneaker sales revenues to organisations that combat prejudice and hatred. The Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union in Cambodia, the Free Trade Zones & General Service Employees Union in Sri Lanka, the Bangladesh Garment and Industrial Workers Federation in Bangladesh, Workers United in the USA, and the Union Pay Your Workers – Respect Labour Rights (PYW-RLR) Committee all signed the open letter.
They claim that workers in many different industries, including those responsible for making Adidas items, were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The unions draw attention to problems including unpaid wages during lockdowns and the absence of severance pay for employees who lose their employment. They emphasise that attempts to bargain with employers about outstanding severance and back wages have been faced with growing restrictions on fundamental trade union rights.
The unions suggest Adidas give a share of the Yeezy shoe sales revenues to a ten-year commitment under the PYW-RLR agreement to allay these worries. In addition to establishing a global guarantee fund for future severance payments, the pact intends to combat wage and severance theft brought on by the pandemic.