June 13, 2011

Deal promises exploitation-free Olympic merchandise

by Jan Harris

An agreement signed in Indonesia could extend the Olympic ideal of fair play to the companies that make merchandise for the games.

The deal was signed in Jakarta, between brands such as Adidas and Nike, and trade unions.

It will allow unions to represent workers in Indonesian, who are making the merchandise from the 2012 Olympics in London.

The TUC is part of the Playfair 2012 campaign, run by ‘Labour Behind the Label’, an organisation that campaigns to improve working conditions for textile workers by raising awareness and encouraging solidarity between consumers and workers.

The deal raises hope that the exploitation associated with previous Olympic merchandise will be reduced.

Workers in sweatshops around the world are often prevented from joining trade unions and union leaders face intimidation and dismissal if they try to recruit members from the factory’s workforce.

Anna McMullen of Labour Behind the Label said:”With the Olympics just around the corner, sportswear brands must now address the poverty wages paid to sportswear workers, and the increasing use of short-term contracts which are used to minimise workers’ legal rights and undermine their ability to organise.”

The UK Government is facing criticism for the large number of tickets -9,000 in total – it has been allocated for the games.

It argues that it will give 1,500 tickets to international business guests, hopefully attracting further investment into the country.

It is also giving some away to children competing in a school games competition.

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