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The Olympic Movement says that it aims to “build a better world through sport” and yet workers making Olympic branded goods and sportswear continue to be exploited. It’s time for the Movement to do more to live up to the Olympic values respect, equality and fair play.

Cai Bing is 33 and works in the embroidery department at Amerseas Enterprises Ltd, which makes Adidas-London 2012 clothing in China. She says that the hours are long and she and her husband struggle to earn enough money to live on each month. Cai Bing’s basic pay is around £128 – and from this she sends money home to support their four-year-old son who lives with his grandparents in their home province, Hunan. She describes her job as low paid and disgraceful, and says that she sometimes has only one meal a day to save money.Cai Bing feels their future is uncertain. Her husband works in a nearby factory and does as much overtime as he can to supplement his basic pay. Her and her husband don’t live together, as each lives in the factory’s dormitory. She says that she plans to leave Amerseas Enterprises Ltd soon, because she is worried about the affects of the dust in the factory on her health.
Last year, Adidas sales reached record levels of £10.6 billion.It would take Cai Bing over 3,000 years to earn Adidas CEO Herbert Hainer’s compensation pot of £4.8 million for 2011 alone.

In the run up to London 2012, the Play Fair campaign has found exploitative working conditons in 10 factories making Olypmic goods and sportswear in China, the Philippines and Sri Lanka. Workers were making London 2012 pin badges, mascots, uniforms for London 2012 officials and a range of sportswear carrying the Olypmic logo/Team GB logo.

Conditions for workers included poverty pay, forced overtime, unsafe working conditions, discrimination, repeated use of short-term contracts, and use of anti-union tactics to prevent workers from trying to improve their pay and conditions.

This campaign has now closed

Although Playfair 2012 has now come to an end, you can stay involved and keep active through the Playfair Brazil campaign and international Play Fair campaign.

Below are some of the actions we encouraged people to take during the campaign…

Light the flame for workers’ human rights:

  • Email the International Olympic Committee – calling on them to take responsibility for ending exploitation in the production of Olympic-branded goods and sportswear.
  • Get active locally – Light the flame for workers’ human rights in your communities by organising an awareness raising action and getting others to sign the International Olympic Committee petition. Playfair 2012 has produced a fun-filled action pack with ideas and messaging to help get you started with organising a local action.

Make it a Fair Games for Workers:

Email major sportswear brands – Adidas, Next, Nike, Speedo (Pentland), New Balance, The North Face, Columbia Sportswear, Brooks, Saucony, Under Armour and Lululeman Athletica to call on them to:

  • Pay a living wage
  • Provide job security for workers
  • Address the negative impacts of their business practices on respect for workers’ rights in their supply chains
  • Take a positive approach to trade unions, so that workers can be empowered to negotiate better pay and conditions