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Play Fair at the Olympics

Aug 1

Written by:
01/08/2008 16:37  RssIcon

A new Ethical Consumer buyer's guide highlights which sportswear companies are the winners and losers.

The Beijing Olympics 2008 runs from 8th to 24th August. The event will be rammed to the rafters with the world’s finest sporting heroes fighting it out for the ultimate goal. But Beijing 08’s slogan “One World One Dream” may not sound true for the Chinese workers producing the athletes clothes. Sportswear has been the target of human rights campaigners for some years now. 

But, just before the start of the Beijing Olympics, key sporting goods brands including Nike, adidas, New Balance, Umbro and Speedo are forming a ground breaking joint working group with trade unions and NGOs to explore, amongst other issues, how to promote trade unionism and collective bargaining as well as improving wages across the sector.

The sporting goods industry is responding to demands from the Play Fair 2008 campaign (PF08), led by the International Trade Union Confederation, the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers Federation and the Clean Clothes Campaign. PF08 released a report “Clearing the Hurdles” in April this year.

The report identified the four hurdles to overcome as: low wages; abuse of short-term contracts and other forms of precarious employment; violations of freedom of association; and factory closures due to industry restructuring.

Play Fair 2008 is an international campaign taking place in the lead up to the 2008 Olympic Games to push for respect for workers’ rights in the production of Olympics-related merchandise and the global sporting goods industry.


Check out our latest report on sportswear companies and see how they measure up.



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