UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Ensuring 2012 is exploitation free‏

Over the past 3 days a delegation from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been on a visit to the site of the London Olympics. The TUC has urged them to ensure that no workers involved in the delivery of the 2012 Games are exploited: http://www.tuc.org.uk/international/tuc-18838-f0.cfm

As the head of the Olympic movement, the IOC has a duty to ensure that the Olympics has ethical principles at its core, and this includes ensuring that workers are not badly treated, says the TUC. The delivery of the London Games involves workers from around the globe, from the textile workers stitching footballs to the construction workers building the Olympic stadium and the various arenas.

The TUC is anxious for London 2012 to be free from the serious labour rights abuses that were uncovered in the run up to the last three Olympic Games - Sydney in 2000, Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008. In the run up to London 2012, the TUC has agreed principles of co-operation with the Olympic Delivery Authority and LOCOG - which set standards for the London Games workforce - to make sure the London Olympics are free of exploitation.

It gives hope to those workers who want to organise to improve their terms and conditions but suffer repression and intimidation for even trying. This is especially true for the Sodexo workers in countries like Colombia, the Dominican Republic, the United States and Morrocco among many others were the giant catering has aggressively worked to deny workers the right to organise and in many cases fired workers who try to form a Union.

Sodexo is now bidding for massive contracts to provide food at the LOCOG and is hoping the London Olympic officials won't look to deeply into their anti-union practices around the World. But it is very clear to Sodexo workers everywhere that unless Sodexo changes its behaviour and signs a global agreement that allows workers to form unions, the company is not reaching the ethical standards required by the London Olympics Organising Committee and has no place in the delivery of the games.

When workers come together in true international solidarity we win.