Adidas explores industry hardship fund for workers

BERLIN -- Sportswear maker Adidas AG says it's looking into the possibility of setting up an industry fund to help workers in poor countries who are left with no income when suppliers' factories close.

Clothing and sportswear companies have faced criticism from labor union groups and others over conditions at suppliers in developing countries.

Adidas says Thursday that, at its request, the Global Forum for Sustainable Supply Chains will hold a meeting in Switzerland later this month of manufacturers, insurance experts and others, to consider options for a private insurance fund.

It says the aim is to help workers who are affected by factory closures and don't get wages and benefits paid. That's a problem in countries where legislation calls for severance pay but doesn't require employers to make provisions for it.