The world’s richest football club is charging £110 for a shirt and paying those who make it just 64p per hour.
A Mail on Sunday investigation found that Cambodian workers are paid just £31 every week to make the tops. That’s way less than a living wage, and not too much more than what United midfielder Paul Pogba reportedly earns in a single minute.
On top of that, the women say that they face aggressive bosses, unrealistic targets, and can only afford to live in slum housing.
One woman told The Mail on Sunday that she lives in a tiny room that she rents for £46 per month with her family of four.
Another said that there are supervisors at her work that shout at her for not making enough shirts every hour. Sometimes that amount is as much as 100 per hour.
Another said that her sight was beginning to fail as a result of spending so much time sewing the hem of shirts.
This is thrown into contrast by the astronomical earnings of some of the club’s players. Pogba, Alexis Sanchez, and Romelu Lukaku are amongst some of the highest paid players in world football.
What Alexis earns in a year would take a Cambodian person three lifetimes to accrue.
This is even worse when you consider that the club’s current shirt manufacturer deal with Adidas is so vast. Adidas pay United £75m per season – the highest amount in the world for a deal of this sort – to make the kit.
Adidas hope that they’ll make £1.5bn from the deal. That’s more than enough to pay a fair wage and sort out some decent working conditions.
A group that campaigns for the rights of garment workers, Behind the Label, said: “Workers have little choice than to work in these conditions. A living wage is a human right. This story represents the paradoxical nature of the industry where those at the top are exploiting those at the bottom.”
A spokesperson from the Manchester United Spokesperson’s Trust said: “The shirts should be half the price of what they are now or even lower so that families can afford to buy them. The Cambodian workers should be paid a decent living wage.