Both firms have in the past made efforts to change their reputation for using sweatshop labour to make their products, and introduced a strict code of conduct for suppliers.
But a study by the American National Labor Committee showed that weekly shifts of more than 60 hours were the norm at producer Ocean Sky, Der Spiegel reported at the weekend. There around 1,500 workers are watched by cameras as they labour in temperatures of around 37 degrees to sew football shirts for Puma and Adidas subsidiary Reebok.
Puma has been criticized for using sweatshop labor. According to Charles Kernaghan, of the National Labor Committee, workers in a Salvadoran factory who manufactured an item that sold for $145 were paid only 23 cents. Such merchandise includes garments carrying the New York Knicks logo. In these factories, female workers are forced to take periodic pregnancy tests and are fired for testing positive. A typical work week is 66 hours -- eleven-hour shifts, six days per week.
On January 13, 2003, worker's in Puma's U.S. subcontracted shoe factory staged a one-day strike to protest forced overtime, withholding of wages, verbal abuse by superiors, denial of union formation, locks on the door to prevent worker's from leaving, and illegally low wages. Worker's claim they are forced to lie during customer audits of the factory and make lower than local region minimum wages.