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Our demands to the International Olympic Committee

Playfair 2012 wants the rights of workers making sportswear and Olympic goods to be respected for London 2012, Brazil 2016 and all future Olympics to come. For this to happen, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), as the main Olympic body, must take responsibility for the conditions in which these products are made. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) should:

  • include the principle of respect for workers’ rights in the Olympic Charter and Code of Ethics
  • build on the system developed by the London 2012 organisers that allows workers and their unions to complain if rights are violated, and oversee this independent process
  • require that all participating countries’ national organising committees include respect for internationally recognised labour standards in their contracts with companies supplying goods and services
  • commit to working with the organisers of London 2012 and Rio 2016 so that the progress made in London can be built on for all future Games.

Campaign progress:

A long-term solution must be found that will end the abuse and exploitation of workers in Olympic supply chains and deliver Decent Work. The position of the IOC remains that it refuses to take responsibility for upholding human rights in Olympic supply chains, and rather passes on this responsibility to national games organisers.

After a gap of two years in talks between the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the international Play Fair campaign, Playfair 2012 was successful in securing a meeting with the IOC on 5 April 2011 when the Committee was in London for a board meeting. Brendan Barber (General Secretary, TUC); Sam Gurney (Policy Officer , TUC); Anna McMullen (Campaign Coordinator, Labour Behind the Label); and Kristin Blom (Campaigns Officer, ITUC) met with Christophe De Kepper (Chief of Staff, IOC); and Mark Adams (Communications Director, IOC). During the meeting, campaign representatives urged the IOC to ensure that all workplaces in Olympic and sportswear supply chains are free from poverty wages, insecure employment and excessive hours, and that workers are allowed to join/form unions.

Letters calling for fair treatment for workers producing Olympic merchandise, signed by International Trade Union Confederation affiliates around the world, were handed over at the meeting.