POSTED: January 13th 2014

Stockholm Olympics to protect workers' rights

CHAD WISE / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) The International Trade Union Confederation praised the new agreement to protect workers’ rights for Stockholm’s bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics last week.

In an attempt to counter worker-exploitation and violations of workers’ rights which has plagued the Olympics, FIFA World Cup and other global sporting events, the Swedish Olympic Committee and national trade union centre LO-Sweden partnered on the agreement.

“The contrast between this agreement and the deadly exploitation of migrant workers for Qatar’s 2022 World Cup could not be greater,” ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow said. “We have written to IOC President Thomas Bach today to call on the IOC to meet at least the Swedish standard for all Olympics. FIFA and other global sporting bodies would do well to follow suit as should all those bidding to host events.”

To ensure the International Labour Organiation’s core labour standards are met, the agreement is intended to apply to “companies that produce facilities, equipment, clothes and supply services for the Olympic Games in Stockholm.” The ILO guarantees union organising and collective bargaining rights, non-discrimination and freedom from forced labour and child labour.

The agreement also calls for compliance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, while companies should increase relations with Global Union Federations to maintain the conditions for workers.

There have been reports of recent workers’ rights problems in Brazil and Russia regarding World Cup and Olympic preparations, respectively.

“Some good steps were taken by the London Olympics orgnisers, and we are calling on the IOC and its sporting counterparts to build on that legacy,” Burrow said. “However, people are still paying with their lives as organisers rush to build stadiums on time, and poverty wages and cruel exploitation are the daily realities for factory workers producing merchandise for global brands and events.

Keywords · Olympics · Stockholm · Sweden · Workers' Rights · Winter Olympics · Olympic Bidding · International Olympic Committee · IOC · FIFA World Cup · Rio 2016 · Sochi 2014 ·

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