As football fans around the world prepare for the World Cup Final, a timely report by the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) sheds light on the working conditions of football stitchers in Pakistan, India, China and Thailand.
The report by ILRF reveals that workers stitching footballs continue to receive extremely low wages, particularly women homeworkers. Many of the football stitchers are engaged as temporary workers, missing out on rights and security, and in three different factories in Pakistan child labour was identified
Ther reports found:
· More than half of the 218 surveyed workers in Pakistan reported that they did not make the legal minimum wage per month.
· In one Pakistani manufacturer, ILRF researchers found that all interviewed stitching center or home based workers were temporarily employed resulting workers not having access to healthcare or social security.
· In the same Pakistani manufacturer’s supply chain, female home-based workers faced discrimination based on their gender. They were paid the least and faced the possibility of losing their jobs permanently due to pregnancy.
· In one Chinese factory, workers were found to work up to 21 hours a day during high seasons and without one day off in an entire month.
· Indian stitching centers were described as “pathetic.” Proper drinking water or medical care facilities, and even toilets were often absent.
· Child labor was identified by workers producing for three different factories in Pakistan.
ILRF is calling on the soccer ball industry to take immediate action to address the issues of extremely low wages and proliferation of temporary workers in order to improve conditions for the workers who produce the balls at the centre of the 2010 World Cup.