Labour abuses still exist in Olympic supply chains

04.05.2012

In "Fair Games? Human Rights of Workers in Olympic 2012 Supplier Factories" the Play Fair campaign reveals how sportswear brands continue to violate international standards in their supply chains.

GLOBAL: Workers making Olympic sportswear for London 2012 for top brands and high street names including Adidas and Next are being paid poverty wages, forced to work excessive overtime and threatened with instant dismissal if they complain about working conditions, according to a new report from the Playfair 2012 campaign published on May 6.

The report called, "Fair Games? Human Rights of Workers in Olympic 2012 Supplier Factories", documents a number of human rights abuses in the Olympic supply chain and in the supply chains of multinational companies.

The report examines whether workers producing sportswear, garments and textiles for the London Olympics are being treated with respect and dignity, in accordance with their fundamental human rights. The report gives in depth information on their researchers findings on the widespread abuse of the human rights of workers which include:

  • precarious work
  • poverty wages
  • forced overtime
  • union busting, and
  • poor working conditions

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has ignored Play Fair's demands. It has held a series of meetings with representatives of Play Fair but has taken almost no concrete action to turn the demands into reality. The London Organizing Committee of Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has gone further than any other Games organizer in taking steps to protect workers rights, but it has not done enough as demonstrated by the findings in this report.

"Prior to the Beijing Olympics Playfair called on companies to take action to ensure the human rights of all workers in their supply chains were respected," said Klaus Priegnitz, General Secretary of the International Textile, Garment and Leather workers' Federation (ITGLWF).

"Four years on we see that the denial of the right to freedom of association, the payment of poverty wages and the widespread use of precarious work is still the norm. Companies need to step up their game and work with unions to support the development of mature systems of industrial relations in their supplier factories."