TUC pre-empts Olympics with anti-sweatshop campaign

Three
days before the Olympic opening ceremony in Athens, the biggest ever
anti-sweatshop campaign is calling for the International Olympic Committee
(IOC) to ensure that sportswear carrying the five-ring logo is not made in
sweatshops.

The
global ‘Play fair at the Olympics’ campaign, headed by the TUC, is calling for
an end to ‘the abuse and exploitation of sportswear workers’, and has already
won a range of commitments from sports brands and national Olympic bodies to
improve employment standards.

However,
the IOC has refused to accept that it has a responsibility to reassure
consumers that products bearing the Olympic logo, worth $1.5bn (£800m) in
sponsorship and licensing, are made by workers treated with the dignity and
respect in keeping with the Olympic spirit, the TUC said.

Brendan
Barber, TUC general secretary, said: "The Olympics is a showcase of
endeavour and achievement. But the hidden heroes of this festival of human
spirit are the millions of workers in sportswear sweatshops. We urge the IOC to
reconsider its position and support our campaign and the values it
champions."

By Michael Millar

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