No medal for the Olympics on labour rights

PlayFair 2008, 32 p., pdf

The Olympic Games is both a symbolic and a practical opportunity to ensure that these global sporting games live up to the ideals enshrined in the Olympic charter and that people who enjoy the games can also know that the souvenirs and garments they wear are produced in factories where basic human dignity and labour rights are respected Sporting bodies, such as the International Olympic Committee, through their sponsorship and licensing arrangements, and the totality of those companies which market or produce sportswear, athletic footwear and other sporting goods should take far greater responsibility for labour practices than they do now.

This report outlines research undertaken in the winter of 2006/07 into just four of the companies awarded licenses to produce official Olympic goods and reveals some very disturbing scenes.

Of the four manufacturers that PlayFair 2008 looked into, two were small sized operations by international standards and two were well established medium-sized companies with significant overseas client bases. This report reveals appalling disregard for their workers’ health and for local labour laws and regulations in the following areas: working hours, pay scale; the hiring of minors and children; and health and safety conditions.

Read the report (pdf):