United Steelworkers (USW) Local 9490 members have ratified a new collective agreement with Rio Tinto Alcan in Alma Quebec, after being locked out for six months. "We were forced to take on the third-largest mining company in the world and we won," said USW President Leo Gerard. "Many thought this was impossible, given the power imbalance, but we sent a message to the resource industry throughout the world that workers and their unions can take on huge multinational corporations to stop unjust demands."
Workers locked out of the Rio Tinto Alcan smelter in Alma, Quebec since last December have filed a complaint calling on the organizers of the London Olympic Games (LOCOG) to drop the resource firm as an official Games supplier of gold, silver and bronze for athletes' medals.
The Play Fair at the Olympics campaign has published a new report detailing systematic and widespread exploitation of workers in 10 sportswear factories in China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines producing sportswear for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Following the discovery of worker rights violations in two Chinese factories producing Olympic-branded merchandise, organizers for the London 2012 Olympic Games stepped up their efforts to eliminate worker rights abuses in factories making Olympic-brand products - including becoming the first Olympic Games to disclose the factories where Olympic goods are made. Although abuses continue to be uncovered, this is a step forward for Olympics organizing bodies.
With the FIFA World Cup in South Africa just days away, the soccer world's leading organization is being asked to take a closer look at the dismal realities faced by soccer ball stitchers. Workers stitching soccer balls in Pakistan, India, China and Thailand continue to experience alarming labour rights violations, including child labour, non-payment of the minimum wage and extensive use of temporary labourers.
The Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC) has developed a program to require environmental, labour rights and aboriginal employment standards for its purchasing and licensing. MSN and its Canadian partners worked with VANOC to improve their initial program by making it more comprehensive, effective and transparent.
On July 10, 2008, following the Ethical Trading Forum in Vancouver at which transparency and Olympic licensing was debated with companies, trade unions, NGOs and Olympic organizers, Nike publicly released the full list of factories that produced its products for the Beijing 2008 Olympics.
On July 31, the Beijing Organizing Committee of the 2008 Olympic Games (BOCOG) announced the results of its investigation into Play Fair's findings of child labour and gross violations of adult workers' rights in certain factories producing licensed goods for the 2008 Olympics. While BOCOG confirmed some of Play Fair's findings, it neglected others and failed to commit to acting positively to improve workers' conditions, choosing instead to cut and run from factories implicated in Play Fair's original report.
A new report released today by the Play Fair 2008 Campaign exposes gross violations of workers’ rights by several Chinese factories supplying goods under license for the Beijing Olympics, including employment of children, adults being paid half the legal minimum wage, and employees forced to work 12-hour shifts, seven days a week, in unsafe and unhealthy conditions.