Thailand factory workers make a measly £1 an hour producing England’s Qatar World Cup shirts, which are selling for £115.
Factory workers in Thailand are only paid £1 an hour to produce England football shirts that cost £115, an investigation has found.
The current strip’s prices, which have increased quicker than inflation, have angered fans, a Daily Mirror investigation revealed.
The place where the shirts are created is not stated on the English Football Association’s website, but a label inside the shirts reveals they are made for Nike in Thailand.
A shirt for an adult in 2008 cost £40, which is equivalent to £56 in today’s currency.
The corresponding “match” jerseys, which look like the ones the players wear now start at just under £75, while the “stadium” shirts start at just under £75, the report said. Children’s shirts cost £59.95, and for an additional £15, the player’s name and number can be added to any top.
Online, several parents have expressed their fury at the cost of the shirts, which also come in Lionesses versions.
“I was going to get eldest the new England Lionesses shirt for the Euros – £60 for a kids football shirt. Daylight robbery,” a fan expressed, according to the exclusive report.
Another such frustrated supporter said: “I truly cannot believe people pay this ridiculously extortionate price for the latest England football shirt. Anybody buying one, especially in these difficult financial times, must have more money than sense.”
Experts in the clothing business predicted that the shirts would normally cost £11 or £12 to produce in the factory.
The projected cost of materials will be £7.50, and the “CMT” costs, also known as “cut, manufacture, and trim” charges, will not exceed £3. This leaves the firm with a profit of about £1.50.
In recent years, the Hi-Tech Apparel facility in Bangkok has produced England jerseys.
Workers told the Mirror they made 331 Thai baht, or approximately £7.80, each day for this summer, which is Thailand’s minimum pay. The minimum salary increased to 353 baht (£8.30) in October.
Two workers – who requested anonymity – confirmed that they produce England shirts for the FA and were willing to speak on the matter.
“We feel proud to be a part of the manufacturing of jerseys for a world-class team like England,” one said, adding that “the England team jerseys have been produced, patterned, and sewn here for quite some time since before Covid.”
They claimed to work between eight and eleven hours each day, or 60 hours per week, and received pay for overtime as well as bonuses for exceeding goals.
“There is no employee union here. During the working hours there is a no-phone policy. We are not allowed to use our mobile phones and there are no photos allowed,” another noted.
When the garment is delivered to the United Kingdom for an estimated cost of 70p, 32% duty is applied, increasing the cost to £16, according to experts, to get the clothing to a UK warehouse. HM Revenue and Customs receives an additional £19 of the £115 as Value-added tax (VAT).
Low-earning workers fired over strike
Separately, workers who made World Cup apparel for Adidas, earning £1.90 per day were let go due to a strike. 29 people were fired after 400 workers at the Pou Chen shoe factory in Myanmar staged a walkout last month, according to the Mirror.
They wanted £3.20 per day.
Trade unions are forbidden under the junta in power since the military takeover last year.
The February 2021 coup began with the detainment of Aung San Suu Kyi President Win Myint and other senior figures from the National League for Democracy [NLD] during an early morning raid, followed by the announcement of a year-long state of emergency by the military.
Shortly after, anti-coup protests erupted across the country with those opposing the military rule facing raids, censorship and arrests.
The World Cup’s official clothing provider this year is Adidas.
“One worker who was fired survived on nothing but water for three days until fellow workers gave her food. It is an outrage that workers have been hung out to dry,” Thulsi Narayanasamy, Director of International Advocacy at the Worker Rights Consortium told the Mirror.
“The ability of workers to collectively stand together to ensure better conditions in their factories is a basic human right and, under the militarised conditions being face by workers in Myanmar, this is more important than ever.”
“To this day, the military continues to intimidate these workers, while those who have lost their jobs don’t have enough to eat,” she added.
Adidas is being urged by the Workers Rights Consortium to take corrective action, most particularly the restoration of the workers who were wrongfully sacked.