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Sports brands slammed over factory worker conditions

Sports brands including Adidas and Umbro have been slammed in a report on pay for factory workers in the Far East and India.

Workers in China are making shoes for £1 per day and footballs for 25p, according to the report which was published today by campaign group Labour Behind the Label.

It alleged that a worker in a Chinese factory owned by one of Nike's key suppliers would need to work for 9,000 years to earn the same take-home pay as Nike chief executive Mike Parker in 2007. It added that an Indian stitcher would have to sew over 13 million balls a year to earn the same annual take-home pay of Adidas chief executive Herbert Heiner.

The report is based on interviews with 320 workers in China, India, Thailand and Indonesia including factories which the report said were used by Nike and Adidas, among other sports brands.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "In spite of more than 15 years of codes of conduct adopted by most of the major sportswear brands, workers still face bullying and harassment, excessive, undocumented and unpaid overtime, threats to health and safety and a failure to receive legally required health insurance. We've raised our concerns with the organisers of the London Olympics and we are looking to them to ensure that London 2012 does not have its reputation sullied by such shocking abuses."

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