Playfair 2012 launches campaign for an ethical London Olympics

As the Olympic torch was being handed on from this year's Winter Olympics in Vancouver to London, the Playfair 2012 coalition on Saturday, February 27, 2010, launched a campaign for an ethical London Games.

Playfair 2012 is co-ordinated by the TUC and Labour Behind the Label (LBL) and involves unions and various campaigning organisations. The coalition wants the organisers of the London Olympics to ensure that workers making sportswear for the 2012 Games won't be working in appalling and degrading conditions, and that all Olympic-branded goods will be ethically produced.

The campaign website – – sets out the standards the coalition expects from the London 2012 Games organisers, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and sportswear brands, and explains how individuals can get involved in the campaign. There is also a resources section with reports and video clips.

Millions of people are employed in the global supply chains that produce kits for Olympic teams, and the sportswear and souvenirs available on our high streets. Evidence shows that the sportswear industry and Olympic movement have a poor track record on workers' rights, says the campaign.

Playfair 2008 research published before the Beijing Games found workers employed by Adidas suppliers in China were making sports shoes that retail for upwards of £50 a pair for just £20 per month, and others working 80 hours a week stitching footballs. In another factory producing stationery, children as young as 12 years old were being forced to work 15 hours a day.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: 'Delivering a legacy for London was at the heart of the Government's successful Olympic bid. And what better legacy than a commitment to end the exploitation and abuse involved in the sportswear and athletic footwear industries?

'We want London 2012 to raise the bar on worker's rights throughout Olympic supply chains.'

Playfair 2012 is made up of: ATL, ASLEF, CWU, Educational Institute of Scotland, GMB, NASUWT, NUJ, NUS, NUT, PCS, Prospect, PFA, the Scottish TUC, the TUC, UCATT, Unison, Unite, Antislavery International and War on Want.

Playfair 2012 is part of the global Playfair 2008 campaign involving three international federations: International Textile Garment and Leather Workers Federation, International Trade Union Confederation and Clean Clothes Campaign. At the global level, members continue to call on the sportswear industry and the Olympic movement to take responsibility for working conditions in their supply chains. More information can be found at

Source: TUC