Thai workers paid THB43/hr to make THB4,900 England shirts: report

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Thai workers paid THB43/hr to make THB4,900 England shirts: report

Thai workers paid THB43/hr to make THB4,900 England shirts: report

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2022

The Mirror

Thai factory workers are being paid just 43 baht an hour to make 4,900-baht England football shirts, the UK’s Mirror newspaper has reported.

The English Football Association (FA)’s website does not specify where the replica shirts are made but a label inside says they are made for Nike in Thailand.

Football shirts usually cost about £12 (510 baht) to make, the UK newspaper said, citing garment industry experts.

Around £7.50 is the cost of materials while “cut, make and trim” (CMT) costs account for up to £3. Around £1.50 or 64 baht will go to the factory.

England shirts have been made for the last few years at the Hi-Tech Apparel factory in Bangkok.

Workers there said they earned what was then Bangkok’s minimum wage of 331 baht per day. In October, the minimum wage rose to 353 baht.

Thai workers paid THB43/hr to make THB4,900 England shirts: report

Mirror reporters said the factory refused to comment on its relationship with the FA and directed all questions to Nike.
However, the newspaper said two anonymous workers confirmed that they make England shirts for the FA.

“We feel proud to be a part of the manufacturing of jerseys for a world-class team like England,” the Mirror quoted one worker as saying.

“The England team jerseys have been produced, patterned, and sewn here for quite some time since before Covid.”

The worker told the newspaper they usually work eight to 11 hours a day or 60 hours per week, with overtime pay and bonuses if they hit targets.

Another worker said there was no employee union to protect the workers at the factory.

“During working hours there is a no-phone policy. We are not allowed to use our mobile phones and there are no photos allowed,” they said.

The Mirror estimated that £80 (about 3,400 baht) from the sale of each £150 shirt is shared between Nike, the English FA and the retailer. Nike expects to make 10% to 15% net profit on each item, it added.

Nike earned £10.2 billion or about 436 billion baht in revenue last year and made £1.18 billion (50.4 billion baht) in profit.

When it signed the Nike deal in 2014, the English FA said: “The FA puts £100 million back into the game every year. It is through partners such as Nike that we are able to maintain that level of investment.”

Thai workers paid THB43/hr to make THB4,900 England shirts: report

Meanwhile, a Nike spokesperson said, “Nike is proud to have designed the England National Teams kits which combine high-performance innovation and sustainability.

“We produce jerseys at multiple price points, so consumers have a choice. Pricing is influenced by many factors including costs of performance materials, R&D, design, manufacturing and selling.

“In addition, Nike is committed to ethical and responsible manufacturing. We believe world-class manufacturing begins with respect for people and the environment.

“While Nike does not own or operate manufacturing facilities, we strive to work with suppliers who share our commitment to making products responsibly and sustainably.”

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