From the TUC

Rights for workers making Olympic souvenirs boosted by factory disclosures

27 Feb 2012, By

Chinese factory producing commemorative badges for London 2012 Olympic Games.

The landmark agreement between the TUC and LOCOG last week was aimed at improving the rights of workers making Olympic souvenirs and other goods. It sets a benchmark for all future Olympic organisers and the International Olympic Committee. And one of the key elements of those benchmarks is that unions should know where the goods are being made, so that they can organise and represent them – and deal with any abuses of LOCOG’s Ethical Sourcing Code, which sets out their rights.

That’s why campaigners for better standards in supply chains demand public disclosure of factory locations. And why we were pleased when on Friday, the day after the agreement was signed, LOCOG published a list of their licensees and suppliers, together with details of the locations where production is taking place – in the UK as well as China.

It covers 72% of the production of goods for the London 2012, and the Playfair campaign hopes that all the other licensees and suppliers will publish their locations shortly. But even more important, it is now up to trade unions to use the information to make sure that workers in the Olympic supply chains are treated better.

Companies listed by LOCOG are: Adidas (who disclosed their factories in June 2011); Golden Bear Toys; Haymarket Publishing; Honav; Hornby Hobbies Ltd; Innovative Sports Limited; Merrythought; Samlerhuset; The Royal Mail; The Royal Mint; and WWRD. Most of the factory locations are in China and the UK (some of them already known to be unionised), but there are also workplaces in Bangladesh, Germany, Ireland, Slovenia and Thailand, and the TUC has alerted sister trade union movements in those countries to the list, as well as the relevant Global Union Federations covering ceramics, glassware, textiles and toys.