Sportswear giant Adidas said Monday that cellphones are bringing accountability and improved labor conditions to Adidas-affiliated factories. A “hotline service,” which enables factory workers to anonymously air grievances, share safety concerns, and report violence and harassment, was successfully tested in one Indonesian factory last year, and will now be implemented in four more there, plus an additional factory in Vietnam.
Employees can “simply send an SMS when they feel their rights are breached,” a spokesperson for Adidas told the Associated Press. “Problems can be detected early on.” The text messages are sent directly to the factory’s management, but are also reviewed and monitored by Adidas directly.
In the wake of several high-casualty and high-profile factory incidents in Bangladesh, major retailers like Adidas are under pressure to improve supply chain transparency. Like most retailers, Adidas uses suppliers to contract with factories (rather than operate factories themselves), but many insist that major retailers are still responsible for working conditions.
“Protecting the interests of global workers involved in manufacturing our products is an ongoing priority for the Adidas Group,” Adidas executive board member Glenn Bennett said. “We constantly strive to improve workers’ conditions in our suppliers’ factories,”