I know I already posted about the World Cup ball problem this morning, but sometimes I keep researching a topic even after I post it, and in this case I'm glad I did. It's just come to my attention that two days ago, the International Labor Rights Forum (an NGO) released a report called "Missed the Goal for Workers: the Reality of Soccer Ball Stitchers," containing some disturbing facts about how the balls are manufactured:
The report reveals that workers stitching soccer balls in Pakistan, India, China and Thailand continue to experience alarming labour rights violations. The research found that child labour still exists in the Pakistani industry and is also occurring in India and China.
...[In] China, India and Thailand...workers reported wages below the legal minimum despite working 12-13 hours a day. Home-based workers in India reported piece rates as low as US$0.35 per ball, completing two to four balls a day.
...Other problems highlighted in the report are gender discrimination against female home-based workers, who are paid the least and face constant threat of losing their jobs due to pregnancy; overlong working hours as in one Chinese factory, where workers were found to work as many as 21 hours a day without a day off for an entire month; and lack of proper drinking water or medical care facilities, and even toilets, as found in Indian stitching centers.
Not good, to say the least. Click here to download the report, and/or click here to see what you can do to help.
via international trade union federation