From the TUC

Sportswear brands commit to decent work in the Philippines

23 Aug 2012, By

Credit: Will Baxter

On 17 August 2012, major sportswear brands sourcing from the Philippines signed a ground-breaking agreement to cooperate on promoting the right to freedom of association, and implementation of national labour laws and international labour standards in their supply chains.

In the agreement, Adidas, New Balance and Brooks Running commit to working with national and global unions, key suppliers, the Filipino Government, and labour rights NGOs to help deliver decent working conditions. Parties to the agreement will work together on a number of issues including low wages; lack of genuine worker representation in factories; the need to improve workers’ awareness about their rights; and the use of precarious working arrangements like contracting and agency labour. Strengthening cooperation on ensuring the right to freedom of association, and the right to organize and bargain collectively is at the heart of the agreement. 

The signing of this cooperation agreement is a major step forward, and resulted from a meeting initiated by the international Play Fair Alliance and national unions. The meeting was organized following the release of the Play Fair report Fair Games? Human rights of workers in Olympic 2012 supplier factories which documented exploitative working conditions in the Mactan Export Processing Zone, including in the production of Adidas-London 2012 sportswear. 

This meeting was preceded by a mediation meeting to address the official complaint made by the Playfair 2012 campaign to London 2012 regarding violations of workers’ rights in the production of Adidas-London 2012 clothing. The international Play Fair campaign has now documented serious violations of workers’ rights for Beijing 2008 and for London 2012, and it’s clear that the Olympic Movement needs to do more to ensure workers’ human rights are respected. The Fair Games report sets out a number of actions that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) should take.
“We need the IOC to take responsibility and make labour rights and decent work a reality for all workers producing for any Sport Games,” said Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary.

Take action! Call on the IOC to end the exploitation and respect workers’ human rights.

Read the agreement