UK: Sweatshop labour uncovered in Olympic factories
The organisers of the London 2012 Olympics are introducing new measures designed to protect workers producing merchandise for this year's games after evidence of exploitation was uncovered.
Researchers working for the TUC and Labour Behind the Label groups discovered child labour, excessive hours, poverty pay, dangerous working conditions and an absence of independent trade unions at factories in the Olympic supply chains.
Following the discoveries, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has now agreed to get tougher on the factories involved.
LOCOG will publish the names and locations of factories in China and the UK covering over 70% of the licensed products produced for London 2012, with a focus on licensees that still have production remaining.
It will make information about employment rights, based on national laws and LOCOG's ethical code, available in Chinese and English, and establish a Chinese language hotline so that workers who feel they are being treated unfairly can either call or text to complain about their treatment.
It will also provide training for some of the workers in the various Olympic supply chains to make them more aware of their rights.
LOCOG has also committed to work with Play Fair 2012 and to transfer the lessons learned to the International Olympic Committee and future Games organisers.
"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," said TUC general secretary Brendan Barber.
"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."
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