Life is a turd sandwich. If you’ve got enough bread you don’t taste the crap - Jonathan Winters
I’m in a quandary and I don’t know what to do.
Do I buy a new England football shirt for the Euros or not? Admittedly, I’ve always regretted buying one in the past when England have been unceremoniously dumped out of the competition (any competition) despite being well-placed to progress. But that’s the past and the future is in Poland and like the deluded gambler who always thinks his next bet will pay off, I’m remaining optimistic on England’s chances. And that’s why I need a shirt.
But before I get a chance to buy the damn thing, I find out that the shirt is made for like next-to-nothing by slumdog workers in Tangerang!!
WTF! The England shirt’s made in Indonesia!
Now that’s all very well by me, but you don’t have to be an Einstein to realize that the reason that UMBRO has subcontracted the tailoring of the England shirts is not because there are so many English Premiership fans in Indonesia and UMBRO is trying to give them something back, but rather because they can take advantage of very cheap labour.
At the PT Tuntex factory in Tangerang, Jakarta, migrant workers spend long hours for low pay making replica team shirts already selling in wealthy Western countries for up to 80 dollars each.
By contrast, their share of the Euro bonanza making the shirts for Adidas, Nike, and Nike subsidiary Umbro, is a wage of as little as 3.30 dollars a day which unions say is far below what they consider a living wage.
To put this in perspective here are some interesting calculations I’ve made.
- The teenage girls who toil to make these shirts work a 12 hour day (includes overtime). This means they are working for an hourly rate of 27.5 cents!!!!!
- England’s highest paid footballer, the warrior John Terry, gets a mind boggling £150,000 a week, or enough to pay the weekly wages for ALL the 2,000 workers in the factory and still have a cool £89,000 a week left over for himself!!
The things you’d do for £150,000 a week…
So should I buy the new England shirt or not? I’m still undecided.
Or I could simply bypass the moral dilemma and ask my Mum to send me one over in the post. Well, that’s that problem sorted then!