date: 22 February 2012
embargo: 00.01hrs Thursday 23 February 2012
The organisers of London 2012 are to introduce new measures designed to protect workers producing merchandise for this summer's Olympic Games, following evidence of exploitation uncovered by researchers working for the TUC and the Labour Behind the Label-led Playfair 2012 campaign.
As a result of the research findings published today (Thursday) - which include child labour, excessive hours, poverty pay, dangerous working conditions and an absence of independent trade unions - and subsequent negotiations with the TUC, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has now agreed to get tougher with the factories in its supply chains.
Last month Playfair 2012 handed LOCOG its dossier Toying with Workers' Rights, compiled using undercover researchers investigating the treatment of workers at two factories in China's Guangdong Province, which were producing London 2012 badges and Games' mascots Wenlock and Mandeville.
Following representations from the TUC and Labour Behind the Label that urgent action be taken, LOCOG has agreed to take concrete steps to ensure that workers making goods for the London Games have their rights respected. This agreement includes:
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: 'LOCOG had gone further than any previous Games' organisers in adopting an ethical code and complaints mechanism, but as our research shows this hasn't been nearly enough to prevent abuses from taking place.
'However it's not too late to make a difference for workers producing goods for London. We welcome LOCOG's acknowledgement that further action is necessary and its commitment to act immediately to ensure that factory owners can no longer exploit workers in the name of the Olympics.
'We're hopeful that a marker has now been set for all future Games and that the International Olympic Committee will play a leading role in taking this work forward so that the exploitation of workers in Olympic supply chains can become a thing of the past. This groundbreaking agreement should also help lead to better working conditions throughout the sporting industry.'
LOCOG Chair Seb Coe said: 'We place a high priority on environmental, social and ethical issues when securing goods and services. As soon as we were made aware of the Playfair 2012 report, we instructed our independent monitor to carry out a comprehensive investigation and review. The outcome of this will be made public as soon as it is concluded.
'We have taken a lead in ethical sourcing and supply chain management but there is always more to do and we are committed to making a real difference to workers' lives and creating a valuable legacy that we can share.'
Labour Behind the Label campaigner Sam Maher said: 'Although this agreement is long overdue, we welcome LOCOG's willingness now to take action. We hope to see these good intentions translated into concrete steps that will genuinely make a difference for workers.'
Researchers working on behalf of the Playfair 2012 found evidence of worker exploitation including:
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- Pictures from Toying with Workers' Rights are available at www.tuc.org.uk/tucfiles/235/factoryphotos.zip
- A copy of the report is available at www.tuc.org.uk/tucfiles/234/Toying_with_Workers_Rights.pdf
- A copy of the agreement between the TUC/Playfair 2012 and LOCOG can be found at www.bit.ly/playfair2012agreement
- For more information about Playfair 2012 visit www.playfair2012.org
- LOCOG's sustainable sourcing code includes labour standards set out in the Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code modelled on internationally-recognised standards www.london2012.com/documents/locog-publications/sustainable-sourcing-code.pdf
- Any worker producing goods for the Olympics can call the LOCOG complaints line +44 (0) 845 267 2012 or send an email to email@example.com with the specific details of the case.
- Playfair 2012 is co-ordinated by the TUC and Labour Behind the Label, and supported by unions and campaigning organisations. Playfair 2012 is part of the international Play Fair campaign, set up prior to Athens 2004, and includes the International Trade Union Confederation, Building and Woodworkers International, the Clean Clothes Campaign and the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers' Federation.
- As part of the negotiations with LOCOG, the TUC has also been speaking to mascot licensee Golden Bear about improving working conditions at the factory researched.
LOCOG: Lloyd Evans T: 020 3 2012 934 M: 07720 122224 E: Lloyd.firstname.lastname@example.org
Press release (1,300 words) issued 23 Feb 2012
This page http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-20660-f0.cfm
printed 18 May 2013 at 22:45 hrs by 188.8.131.52