London Olympics Committee to Get Tougher with Supplier Factories on Workers’ Rights

With the organisers of the London 2012 Olympics introducing new measures to protect workers producing merchandise for the Olympic Games this year, the ITUC and its Play Fair alliance partners are calling on the International Olympic Committee to introduce “comprehensive and effective measures” to put an end to violations of workers’ rights in Olympics supply chains.

The move comes with the publication of a new dossier, “Toying with Workers’ Rights”, which uncovers the use of child labour, excessive working hours, poverty wages, dangerous working conditions and the absence of independent unions in factories making merchandise for the London Olympics.

“The London Olympics organisers have now pledged to act on this report and we welcome that. But unless the IOC acts as well, workers making mascots and other merchandise for future Olympics will once again be on poverty wages and have to sweat even harder than the athletes who will compete. The IOC has taken some small steps but these have clearly not been enough. Therefore we have written to IOC President Jacques Rogge asking him to meet and discuss the way forward,” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow.

The London Olympics organising committee LOCOG has agreed to publish the names and locations of most of the factories producing London 2012 licensed products in China and the UK, make information available to the workers on their rights, set up a Chinese-language complaints hotline, provide training to workers on their rights, and work with partners in the Play Fair alliance to help stop similar exploitation for future Olympics.

The new dossier was prepared by independent researchers in China working undercover in the production factories. It was commissioned by the Trades Union Congress of Great Britain and Labour Behind the Label as Play Fair 2012 - the UK partners of the international Play Fair Alliance.

To read the Play Fair 2012 press release

To read the report “Toying with Workers’ Rights”

To read the letter to IOC President Jacques Rogge

For any further information, please contact the ITUC press department at: +32 2 224 0204 or +32 476 621 018