Detail of poster from Stockholm 1912 Olympic games.
#Playfair2012 legacy steps forward in Sweden
A lot’s been written about how the legacy of London2012 has been squandered in Britain, but one aspect of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games lives on: the international trade union/NGO Playfair campaign. We are using global sporting events to improve the conditions of workers in the global supply chains that spring up around each event, and also use the publicity generated to raise the profile of working conditions – especially wages, hours of work and health and safety – in all global supply chains.
The memorandum of understanding, negotiated between LO Sweden and the Swedish Olympic Committee commits the bidders, if successful, to respect ILO standards at home and in the global supply chains for the games, as well as the UN Declaration on Human Rights and the OECD Guidance on Multinational Enterprises. And it also demands that suppliers to the games negotiate framework agreements with Global Union Federations.
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has written to the new head of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, urging him to require the same commitments from all the bidders for the 2022 Winter Olympics – the first selection under his leadership.
This marks another step forward for the international Playfair campaign, but since Playfair2012 a lot has been going on, and the original Playfair targets of the World Cup and summer Olympics has widened to cover the Winter Olympics and also the Commonwealth Games, which takes place this summer in Glasgow. The STUC has issued a campaign pack for unions, calling for Glasgow2014 to be an ethical games.
Of course, the issue of labour rights in the World Cup has got a lot more coverage because of the slavery and oppression of migrant workers in Qatar where the 2022 World Cup is due to be held, but there are trade union campaigns around this summer’s Brazil World Cup and the 2016 Rio Olympics, the Sochi Winter Olympics later this year and all other global sporting events.
Sport is a global industry, and it forms an important part of global industry generally. We want trade unions and workers’ rights to form an integral part of those events.