Tuesday, 7 November 2006

Action Alert: Play Fair at the Olympics

REQUESTED ACTION] [SAMPLE LETTER] [MEDIA COVERAGE] Join Us in Demanding that Sportswear Companies Play Fair and Respect Workers' Rights Maquila Solidarity Network March 5, 2004 Yesterday, Oxfam International, the European Clean Clothes Campaign, and Global Unions launched an international campaign demanding that the Olympic movement extend its commitment to fair play to the workers who make Olympic branded sportswear. "Play Fair at the Olympics": www.fairolympics.org The Canadian campaign was launched jointly by the Maquila Solidarity Network (MSN), Oxfam Canada, Oxfam Quebec and the Canadian Labour Congress, with events in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and St. John's. In Toronto, Canadian Olympian Bruce Kidd joined MSN and Oxfam to express his support for the campaign in a press conference. He urged the IOC to take action on this pressing issue, and encouraged the Canadian Olympic Committee to support this call for action at the IOC. Volunteers from MSN and Oxfam raised an "Olympic Clothesline" outside the Toronto Eaton Centre and distributed campaign flyers and petitions to shoppers. In Vancouver, MSN and Oxfam volunteers awarded a gold medal to a local garment worker and UNITE member, symbolizing the Olympic-like effort put in by garment workers everyday for little reward. In St. John's, Oxfam raised a banner describing the exploitative working conditions found in sportswear supply factories around the world. And, in Montreal, the Quebec anti-sweatshop coalition of labour, student, teacher and overseas development organizations held a press conference to call for action and outline the campaign's demands. The "Play Fair at the Olympics" campaign calls on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and sportswear companies to take action against worker rights abuses in the sportswear industry. A report released yesterday describes the harsh working conditions faced by sportswear workers in six countries around the world, including China and Turkey. To access the "Play Fair at the Olympics" report, visit: www.fairolympics.org For a sample of the media coverage, please see the links at the bottom of this message. REQUESTED ACTION: Please write to Roots Canada, the official clothing supplier to Canada's Olympic Team, and urge the company to: 1. Adopt a code of conduct that is consistent with international labour standards. 2. Publicly disclose the locations of all factories producing Olympic branded sportswear. 3. Allow third-party monitoring organizations to verify compliance with the code and publish the results of factory audits. You can fax your letter to Roots CEO Marshall Myles at: 416-781-3259 or send it by e-mail to rperkins@roots.com. Please remember to send MSN a copy of your letter at info@maquilasolidarity.org. **** SAMPLE LETTER (Please write your own and send a copy to MSN.) Marshall Myles, CEO Roots Canada 1162 Caledonia Rd Toronto, Ontario, Canada M6A 2W5 Fax: 416-781-3259 Dear Mr. Myles, The Olympics is all about fair play. However, I am aware that many sportswear products are manufactured under unfair and exploitative conditions. It's time that we played fair with the young women and men who manufacture Olympic sportswear. As an official supplier of the Canadian Olympic Team, Roots Canada must ensure all of its Olympic uniforms and Olympic branded merchandise are made under humane conditions. I am joining with consumers and workers around the world in calling on your company and other sportswear companies to: 1. Adopt a code of conduct based on international labour standards; 2. Publicly disclose the locations of factories producing Olympic branded products; and 3. Publish reports on the results of third-party audits of working conditions in those factories. Please send me a copy of your code of conduct, and a list of all factories producing Olympic branded sportswear for Roots. In addition, I urge you to allow third-party monitoring organizations to verify compliance with your company's code and make the findings of those audits publicly available. I look forward to hearing from you about what steps Roots Canada is taking to ensure its products are made under humane working conditions. Sincerely, **** MEDIA COVERAGE CBC Sports - "Exploited workers rush to get gear ready for Olympics" Toronto Star: Oxfam: Don't buy sweatshop Olympic wear The Guardian (UK): Sportswear firms to investigate Oxfam sweatshop claims BBC (UK): Staff 'exploited' in Olympic rush ******************************************************** For more information, contact: Maquila Solidarity Network / Ethical Trading Action Group 606 Shaw Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M6G 3L6 416-532-8584 (phone) 416-532-7688 (fax) info@maquilasolidarity.org www.maquilasolidarity.org

No comments: