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Complaints platform: adidas employees call for more anti-racism measures – adidas shares firmer | message

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On the one hand, the supervisory board should examine whether HR boss Karen Parkin has taken the right measures against racism in the workplace. Second, employees in the company are demanding an anonymous platform for complaints about racism. adidas recently promised to hire more non-whites and invest in black communities.

The claims were raised by 83 adidas employees in a letter to the Supervisory Board on June 15, into which the Wall Street Journal had an insight.

“We welcome our employees’ commitment to stand up against racism,” said adidas in a statement. “We are now concentrating our efforts on making progress and making real changes immediately.”

adidas said it has a hotline and email address through which employees can submit complaints. The company has a zero-tolerance policy for abuse or retaliation, and the company recently hired an outside investigator to monitor the policy.

Parkin had said at a staff meeting at adidas subsidiary Reebok in Boston last year that racism was “noise” that is only discussed in America and that she didn’t think the brand had a problem with racism, the journal said. On June 12, Parkin said she should “choose a better word” at the Reebok meeting. This emerges from a message on the adidas intranet, into which the journal had an insight. She added, “It was my responsibility to make our firm stance against discrimination clear, and I did not. If I offended someone, I apologize for it.”

Employees call for a more sincere apology from HR boss

Dozens of employees have since commented on the intranet and asked Parkin to apologize more sincerely, employees who saw the posts. Some referred to Parkin’s statement as a “non-apologetic apology.” Parkin did not respond to requests from the journal for comment. A company spokeswoman said the company did not comment on internal communications.

Following the assassination of George Floyd last month, adidas, like many other brands, used social media to speak out against racism. Nevertheless, some black employees in the company’s US offices told the journal that the corporate culture in the German group was anything but fair and that the company benefited from black communities.

In a presentation to adidas executives, a group of employees has already asked the company to hire more black and Latin American employees and to invest more in black US communities. In response, adidas promised to invest $ 120 million in black communities and account for blacks and latinos in 30 percent of all new hires in the US at adidas and Reebok. “We recognize the immense contribution of the black community to our success and that of others,” said the adidas board in a statement last week.

Since speaking to the journal about the Reebok meeting, Aaron Ture, a manager for fashion shoe collaborations, has received a message from a direct Parkin representative asking him to “find a way forward.” Ture wrote this in an Instagram post. “As all my courageous colleagues have emphasized here, we have to deal with the past before we can build anything for the future,” Ture wrote in the Instagram post.

Adidas shares temporarily rise on Monday to 0.50 percent on XETRA to EUR 241.70.

By Khadeeja Safdar

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)

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