Demand Worker's Rights in the Sportswear Industry and 2004 Olympics
Sportswear is a buyer's market. Whether we're top-class athletes or just shopping for clothes, we want the latest products. We want them to be cheap. And we want them now. The industry is geared up to make maximum profits by giving us what we want, when we want it.
But it's a highly competitive industry; manufacturers compete for a slice of the profits in Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa, and Central America.
That means they often accept last-minute orders and force workers to stay until they have finished; knock down costs by squeezing wages; employ workers on short-term contracts so that they can hire and fire at will; and threaten workers with dismissal or actually fire them for joining a trade union.
We're all involved in this unfair global trade which, though so clearly associated with the Olympic movement, is so far from the Olympic ideal of fair play. Women work all the hours they can for appalling pay, and can only imagine the luxury of wearing the sportswear they make.
It doesn't have to be like this.
Play Fair at the Olympics is a campaign to persuade sportswear companies and the International Olympic Committee to take their responsibilities seriously. Just because they are under pressure to meet market demands, that's no excuse for pushing their manufacturers into exploitative business practices. Some companies have labour codes of conduct already, but when push comes to shove, workerstill get abused and exploited. That's why we're asking you to send a message to Puma, ASICS, FILA and the IOC now.
Demand that sportswear companies and the IOC take action to respect workers' rights. Email the sportswear industry now.
Sportswear companies should take their responsibilities seriously and stop pushing their manufacturers into exploitative business practices for the sake of greater and greater profit. In addition, the International Olympics Committee should use its clout to ensure workers in the sportswear industry work under fair, dignified and safe conditions.
For more information, the links to company profiles as well as their contact information where your letters should be sent to visit: