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Sportswear brands commit to decent work in the Philippines

An adidas worker in Cambodia producing goods for the London Olympics / Credit: Will Baxter

An adidas worker in Cambodia producing goods for the London Olympics / Credit: Will Baxter

A ground-breaking cooperation agreement on respecting national labour laws and freedom of association has been signed by major brands, the government, unions, NGOs and suppliers in the Philippines.

The agreement, signed on 17 August, resulted from a multi-stakeholder meeting organised by global union IndustriALL and the ITUC, and followed publication of Play Fair research Fair Games? which documented extensive labour rights violations in the Mactan Processing Zone. In the agreement, parties commit to working together on a number of issues including low awareness of workers’ rights, wages, lack of authentic worker representation and precarious working arrangements. Sportswear brands that have signed up include Adidas, Brooks Running and New Balance.

Read more

August 22nd, 2012

Olympics blocks ‘Light the flame for workers’ human rights’ action

Olympic_Torch_Illustration_Text_On_Front - blockedThousands of campaigners calling on the International Olympic Committee to respect workers’ human rights have had their emails blocked by the IOC.

In recent weeks, campaigners who have taken the Playfair 2012 action Light the flame for workers’ human rights have been contacting us to let us know that their emails have been rejected. Our attempts to use different email addresses for the IOC and its members produces the same response – rejected.

It’s a shame that Jacques Rogge and the IOC don’t feel they need to listen to what so many people around the world are telling them, and we’ve contacted the IOC to tell them this.

It’s great that so many people have taken this action, and we want to make sure that supporters’ messages get through to the IOC, so we’ve started collecting everyone’s actions together and will now be making a petition, as evidence of international support for an exploitation-free Games. From now until the end of the 2012 Paralympic games, we want to build this petition as big as we can.

The IOC may think they can ignore us, but the international Play Fair campaign will be continuing to follow them on to Sochi 2014 and Brazil 2016, and we’ll be doing all we can to ensure the gains for workers made at London 2012 don’t get lost for future Games.

Blocking our emails won’t make international outrage at workers’ rights abuses just go away.

August 17th, 2012

The Trades Union Congress invites proposals to conduct an impact study for the Playfair 2012 project and campaign

Playfair 2012 is a three-year project and campaign running from July 2009 to August 2012. The Playfair 2012 project is funded by the Department for International Development. Playfair 2012 aims to increase the awareness of UK workers and students of the interdependence of global sportswear supply chains and their power to affect change as consumers. In turn this will strengthen the efforts of ethical suppliers and workers in developing countries to alleviate their poverty.

The Playfair 2012 campaign aims to influence the policies and practises of major sportswear brands and the organisers of the London 2012 Olympics to ensure respect for International Labour Organisation Conventions and workers’ human rights, in their global supply chains.

Playfair 2012 is coordinated by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and Labour Behind the Label. The TUC is commissioning this study to assess the impact of the Playfair 2012 project and campaign, and to capture learning from their implementation.

Playfair 2012 impact study

Length of consultancy

This piece of work could take around eight working days, however, the TUC is willing to negotiate the length of the consultancy.

Experience/expertise required

The consultant will have experience of carrying out evaluations and impact studies of projects relating to development education and international development. In addition, experience of evaluating the impact of UK campaigns focused on international development will be essential. A knowledge and understanding of the role of trade unions in development projects and campaigning is essential.

Contact information

Owen Tudor, Head of European Union and International Relations Department – and on 020 7467 1325.

How to apply

Send a copy of your CV and a covering letter detailing your relevant skills, knowledge and experience to Owen Tudor at Decisions on applications will be made following a telephone interview.

Closing date: 30 August 2012

 More information: see the Terms of Reference

August 8th, 2012

New video: Alternative Opening Ceremony Party – 27 July

Featuring comic Paul Sinha, world-record breaking juggler Rod Laver, Tricity Vogue and her All-Girl Swing Band the film of the Alternative Opening Ceremony organised by Philosophy Football with the TUC and Playfair 2012 mixes campaign messages and dissident entertainment to create a sparkling 13 minutes of YouTube gold. Also featuring contributions from Mark Perryman author of Why The Olympics Aren’t Good For Us And How They Can Be, the head of the TUC International Dept Owen Tudor, environmental writer Bob Gilbert and David Goldblatt author of the best-selling How To Watch The Olympics. The Film of the night, by Gregg Macdonald of Consequential Films projects a brilliant combination of celebrating the Olympics with a well-grounded critical appraisal of what a better Games, for all, would look like.

View the video here!

August 6th, 2012

Playfair 2012 featured in new video by London 2012 assurance watchdog – Commission for a Sustainable London 2012

The Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 (CLS) provides assurance to the Olympic Board and the public on how the bodies delivering the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and legacy are meeting their sustainability commitments.

CSL’s new video tells the story of their assurance work relating to a range of sustainability issues including procurement and global supply chains, London 2012′s carbon footprint, and the resignation of one of their commissioners over Dow Chemicals’ sponsorhip.  Contributions include Playfair 2012/Trades Union Congress’ – Sam Gurney (Policy Officer); Jonathon Porritt (Former Chair, Sustainable Development Commission); and Peter Head OBE (Executive Chairman, Ecological Sequestration Trust).

Following the publication of the Playfair 2012 report Toying with workers’ rights, CSL supported many of our recommendations for the organisers of London 2012 to do much more to respect workers’ rights in their global supply chains.

Read more and view video

August 6th, 2012

Playfair 2012 at Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival, July 2012


Tolpuddle festival goers made a stand with the Playfair 2012 giant torch - calling on the Olympic Movement to Light the flame for workers’ rights, while others took to our Olympic podium – highlighting who the winners and losers are in the Olympic Games. Photos include Tony Benn, Gail Cartmail (Unite), Manuel Cortes (TSSA), John Drake (FBU South West), Nina Franklin (NUT), Steve Gillan (POA), Billy Hayes (CWU), Michael Leahy (Community), John Monks, Andrea Maksimovic, Mick Rix (GMB), and Simon Weller (ASLEF).

There was enthusiastic support for the campaign, as hundreds of people wrote messages to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) calling on it to end the exploitation of workers in Olympic supply chains and ensure respect for the rights of all workers who help to make the Games possible.

Messsages to the IOC included:

“Ethical trade leads to an Ethical Games”

“I love and support London 2012, but not at the cost of people’s rights!”

“Don’t let’s race to the bottom with Olympic workers’ rights and wages”

You can read more on twitter #playfair2012

July 19th, 2012

Bedford and District Trades Council mobilises support for Playfair 2012 around Olympic torch relay

By Graham Tranquada

Bedford & District Trades Council wished to support Playfair 2012 as soon as we became aware of the campaign. Apart from distributing literature and an appeal for support from affiliated unions, we sought to gain the support of the local political parties and in particular the Bedford Borough Council as it is hosting a large number of participating teams for the London Olympics 2012. Many prominent local politicians would be very happy to be associated with the “good feel” factor of the Olympic experience, but were not asking questions about the experience of the many workers who were not being treated according to the employment standards agreed.
We issued a press release explaining the work of Playfair 2012 and this was published in the Bedfordshire on Sunday which is delivered free to every address in Bedfordshire. We invited the Mayor Dave Hodgson, to support the campaign and he has issued a statement of support:Â

Mayor Dave Hodgson (centre) with Catherine Ward & Graham Tranquada from Bedford Trades Council

Mayor Dave Hodgson (centre) with Catherine Ward & Graham Tranquada from Bedford Trades Council



“I am very happy to support the aims and objectives of Playfair 2012. Sadly we know that, while progress has been made, there is still a great deal to be done to improve transparency and ensure workers’ rights in global supply chains, including in a number of industries involved in supplying goods for the Olympic games. That is why I support this campaign and applaud its achievements to date.”




We also wrote to the three leaders of the main parties of the Borough Council seeking their support and for the Council to pass a motion of support at the first opportunity it gets. This is work in progress and the Trades Council will continue to seek opportunities to publicise Playfair 2012 whilst the Olympic Athletes are in Bedford.

Bedford and District Trades Council mobilises support for Playfair 2012

Bedford and District Trades Council mobilises support for Playfair 2012

When the Olympic Torch passed through Bedford on Sunday 8th July 2012 the Trades Council leafleted the watching crowds, many of whom were unaware of the work of Playfair 2012. The leaflets were well received, particularly the torches for the kids, and generally people were supportive.

July 19th, 2012

Campaign achievements and challenges

London 2012

The Playfair 2012 campaign has made some progress with influencing the London 2012 organisers to take action to protect the rights of workers in its global supply chains, and we are now working with Playfair Brazil to try to ensure that the organisers of the 2014 World Cup and Rio 2016 build on this progress.

As a result of engagement with the Playfair 2012 campaign, the organisers of the London Games (LOCOG) included in contracts with companies supplying its goods and services, a requirement to comply with the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) Base Code. This Code is based on internationally recognised standards and includes no child labour, payment of a living wage and no discrimination. Engagement with Playfair 2012 also led LOCOG to develop a complaints mechanism to enable workers in its supply chain to report any violations of their rights. Read more…

July 12th, 2012

Alternative Opening Ceremony Party – join us for a night of comedy, music, debate and poetry


 As the London 2012 Olympics kick off on 27 July join us at the Alternative Opening Ceremony Party.

Featuring comedy from Isy Suttie and Paul Sinha, DJ set by Melstars:Music, plus music from Tricity Vogue’s All Girl Swing Band, a debate with David Goldblatt, Anna Minton and Alan Tomlinson on the meaning of the Olympics, juggling by Rod Laver…and much more….

Where: Rich Mix, Bethnal Green Road, E1
When: 27 July, show starts at 19.00, doors open at 18.00
Tickets: £10 from (go to events) or by calling 01273 472721, students £5 (pre-booked by calling 01273 472721)
Cafe and bar for food and drink

This event is sponsored/supported by the Playfair 2012 campaign, TUC, Labour Behind the Label, Anti-Slavery International, NUS, War on Want, Amnesty International and Compass, and organised by Philosophy Football.

Download flyer for more information about the night.

The Alternative Opening Ceremony Party is proudly unofficial, not anti-Olympics, instead a celebration of a better Games for all!

July 2nd, 2012

Complete our short Playfair 2012 survey and get a free Olympic torch bookmark

Light the flame for workers' human rightsThe survey has now closed.

The London 2012 Olympics have provided a fantastic opportunity for the Playfair 2012 campaign to raise awareness about the often exploitative working conditions in the production of Olympic merchandise and sportswear, and to mobilise support for action to demand that the human rights of workers making these goods are respected.

Please take a few minutes to help us assess what impact we’ve had in raising awareness and in providing ways for you to influence major brands and the Olympic movement to respect workers’ rights.

As you may be aware, Playfair 2012 signed a ground-breaking agreement with the organisers of London 2012 to take action to protect workers’ rights, earlier this year. We are now working with Playfair Brazil in the run up to the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Rio Olympic Games so that progress made by London 2012, as a result of the Playfair 2012 campaign, is built on for future world sporting events.

We will send you a free Olympic torch bookmark for completing the survey (postal address must be provided when completing the survey)

Please forward this survey onto friends and family.

The survey closed on 31 August 2012

June 27th, 2012