Olympic suppliers deny being sweatshops
The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) says it trusts its uniform suppliers, who have issued assurances that their workforces don’t work under sweatshop conditions.
THE Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) says it trusts its uniform suppliers, who have issued assurances that their workforces don’t work under sweatshop conditions.
This follows claims that workers in factories supplying the 2012 Olympics are being forced to work excessive hours for poverty wages and are denied legal entitlements such as sick leave.
A report released by global labour rights alliance Play Fair says the alliance investigated 10 factories in Sri Lanka, the Philippines and China, where more than 32,000 workers are producing sportswear for the London 2012 Olympics.
The report alleges that workers in Sri Lankan factories are paid only 25 per cent of the living wage of $US357 ($A352) per month, while workers in the Philippines often work more than 60 hours a week.
It says forced overtime is common, and in all 10 factories investigated there are no recognised unions or workers’ organisations.
The factories supply to brands including adidas and Speedo, which both have licensing agreements with the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) to manufacture goods for the Games.
Mike Tancred, spokesman for the AOC, said Sportscraft, Volley and adidas monitored standards in their factories.
“Our sponsors have all told us that they are compliant (with international labour standards),” Mr Tancred told AAP.
“We are happy with that.”
“Volley periodically conduct independent, external audits of suppliers to ensure they meet our commitment to ethical, responsible and sustainable conduct in all operations.
“We have terminated supply contracts in the past of (suppliers) who fail to measure up.”
However, Oxfam Australia said greater reassurances were needed that workers were being treated fairly.
“You can’t just take (the suppliers) at their word, given the well-documented history of human rights abuses in the garment industry,” Oxfam Australia’s workers’ rights coordinator Andrea Maksimovic told AAP.
“Adidas has gone a lot further than a lot of brands by making the supply chain of their factories available, but internal auditors are not good enough – workers get coached in what to say.” – AAP