Commission statement on Play Fair report and factory conditions

February 23, 2012

The Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 today welcomes positive action but challenged LOCOG to explain delays in acting to prevent labour standards infringements in LOCOG merchandise.

Following the release of the Playfair Campaign and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) report which details extensive workers’ rights infringements in two Chinese factories which make London 2012 merchandise, LOCOG has now agreed to embark on a wide-ranging programme that will build on work that has gone further than any previous games’ organisers in tackling workers’ rights. The Commission welcomes this move by LOCOG.

Shaun McCarthy, Chair of the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 said, “LOCOG and Playfair have shown that real change in this challenging area is possible with commitment. Their joint action plan is ground-breaking and they should be congratulated. We will only see improvements in labour standards in the events industry when organisers are prepared to go the extra step, and today’s joint agreement is just that.”

However the Commission does question why it has taken the release of an undercover dossier to push LOCOG into action. The Commission has pressed LOCOG for months over core issues including full disclosure of its supply chain.

“We advised LOCOG to require full disclosure and to improve communication of their complaints mechanism in our review of merchandising last summer, but LOCOG had insisted at this point full disclosure was an impossibility. While it has now done the right thing and is collaborating with Playfair to see what can be done, it would have been more effective to have tackled this earlier in the programme”, according to McCarthy.

LOCOG’s diligent work has identified the risks involved in its supply chain. In response to unacceptable audit reports it required actions to be taken in many factories before production was allowed to begin. Yet despite awareness of these risks, it has not adequately communicated its complaints mechanism to factory workers so that they know how to report any further problems that these reports suggest might have been present. This is being corrected now and we welcome the action, but it could have been done last year.”