Fairwear visits FILA – 7 July

Banners outside FILA

Fairwear joined forces with Oxfam/CAA’s Play Fair at the Olympics campaign this morning to remind sportswear company FILA that they have not yet signed up to or become accredited to the Homeworkers Code of Practice.

Protesters lineup with letters spelling 'End Sweatshops"

From a media release by Fairwear:

Wednesday 7th July 11am – 260 Nicholson Street, Fitzroy

We’ll be visiting FILA to remind them that they haven’t signed or accredited to the Homeworkers Code of Practice. With about 90% of garments “Made in Australia” being made in the home by women for $2-$5 an hour we are calling on retailers and manufacturers to take responsibility for ensuring workers receive just wages and conditions.
We are also linking in with the Play Fair at the Olympics campaign (OXFAM/CAA http://www.caa.org.au) which is
focussing on Sportswear production globally.

Judging from the numbers of police who started assembling at the store from about 10.30 onwards, the name of Fairwear must be carrying quite a clout:

Uniformed police around store

As it happened there were just enough people to spell out the message in a highly visible display for the passing (heavy) traffic:
Protesters in line across street

– and the manager ended up agreeing to sign the retailers’ code – though not the manufacturers’, on the grounds that FILA is not a manufacturer… But he also undertook to send the campaign’s demands to head office in New York …

From the FILA website (http://www.fila.com/):

About Fila

Fila is a subsidiary of Sport Brands International (SBI) which controls directly or indirectly around 20 international companies which create, develop, produce and distribute sports apparel and footwear under the Fila and Ciesse brands. SBI is a privately held company based in New York.

[Note – the above quote was accurate at time of original post but the FILA website has been updated since then.]

For more on these issues visit:

http://www.oxfam.org.au/campaigns/mtf/labour/olympics (this link is no longer active, but see this archive
… and there is a report of the recent visit of two Thai campaigners to Melbourne on Melbourne Indymedia (See also this report on Green Left Weekly