Play Fair Olympics

"Play Fair at the Olympics" is a campaign calling for the Olympic values of ethics and fair play to be applied to the world's abused and exploited sportswear workers.

The Play Fair at the Olympics Campaign has urged sportswear companies and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to bring about an industry-wide solution to the abuse and exploitation of workers in global sportswear supply chains.

Evidence shows that the sportswear industry and Olympic movement have a poor track record on workers' rights. Playfair 2008 research published before the Beijing Games found workers employed by Adidas suppliers in China were making sports shoes that retail for upwards of £50 a pair for just £20 per month, and others working 80 hours a week stitching footballs. In another factory producing stationery, children as young as 12 years old were being forced to work 15 hours a day.

The campaign started in 2004 as one of the biggest ever mobilisations against abusive labour conditions. Hundreds of organisations and many top athletes participated in over 35 countries and more than half a million signatures were collected in support of the campaign before the Olympic Games in Athens that year. The campaign has continued each Olympics since, directly communicating with brands Puma, Asics, Mizuno and Umbro.

Play Fair has organised many public actions over the years including marathons, bike rides and parades. In 2008 two of the official Beijing Olympics mascots ("fuwas") visited the main post office in Amsterdam, the Netherlands to mail the Play Fair 2008 report to the Dutch members of the International Olympic Committee.


Results: 13 Items

  • June 11, 2018

    Adidas and Nike pay record-breaking amounts to footballers, but deny decent wages to women stitching their shirts

    While millions of people are getting ready to cheer their favorite teams during the Football World Cup, a report by Éthique sur l’étiquette and Clean Clothes Campaign, ‘Foul Play’, reveals that adidas and Nike, major sponsors of the global event, pay poverty wages to the thousands of women in their supply chain that sew the football shirts and shoes of players and supporters.

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  • June 3, 2012

    Light the Flame for a fair Olympics

    Summer is almost here and with it the Olympic Games in London. The Olympics Games aims to “build a better world through sport” and promotes values of fair play, respect and equality Unfair play, disrespect and inequality aren’t values we usually associate with the Olympics. But for some workers making Olympic goods and sportswear, this is what the Olympic ideal really means.

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  • May 6, 2012

    Abuses still exist in Olympic supply chains, says Playfair 2012

    Workers making Olympic sportswear for London 2012 for top brands and high street names including Adidas and Next are being paid poverty wages, forced to work excessive overtime and threatened with instant dismissal if they complain about working conditions, according to a new report from the Playfair 2012 campaign published today.

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  • February 23, 2012

    Toying with workers' rights

    The International Olympic Committee are today under pressure to take a stand on sweatshop labour as a report showing widespread exploitation of workers producing merchandise for the London Olympic games is released.

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  • June 7, 2011

    Historic pact strengthens sportswear workers union rights

    A historic agreement which follows two years of negotiations after the Playfair 2008 campaign was signed. The pact which addresses core labour rights issues in Indonesian factories was signed by Indonesian textile, clothing and footwear unions, major supplier factories and the major sportswear brands, including Adidas, Nike and Puma.

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  • April 3, 2011

    Play Fair Campaign launches in Brazil ahead of 2014.

    An international conference organised by "Play Fair" and the Building Workers' International has opened in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Conference will launch the BWI Campaign around the World Cup 2014, as well as the Olympic Games 2016 Play Fair Campaign.

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  • February 28, 2010

    Playfair 2012 launches campaign for an ethical London Olympics

    On Saturday 27 february, As the Olympic torch was handed on from this year's Winter Olympics in Vancouver to London, the Playfair 2012 coalition launched a campaign for an ethical London Games.

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  • January 11, 2010

    Vancouver Olympics: Sportswear Brands in Trouble

    Despite making positive statements at the time of the 2008 Olympics about cleaning up an industry rife with rights violations, major sportswear brands have taken little action since to improve wages and working conditions for the workers who produce their goods.

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  • July 2, 2008

    Leading Sports Brands, Unions, NGOs Form Working Group

    A month before the start of the Beijing Olympics key sporting goods brands including Nike, adidas, New Balance, Umbro and Speedo are forming a ground breaking joint working group with trade unions and NGOs to explore amongst other issues how to promote trade unionism and collective bargaining as well as improving wages across the sector.

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  • July 28, 2006

    Sweet FA? Football Associations, workers' rights, and the World Cup

    The world's Football Associations makes millions from sponsorship and licensing arrangements, while their sponsors are expecting hundreds of millions of pounds in additional revenue from World Cup goods. Meanwhile, the people stitching the footballs, sewing the shirts and glueing the boots that will earn this money are working late into the night, six or seven days a week, for poverty wages. Those that attempt to form trade unions to try to improve their working conditions are persecuted and often lose their jobs. This report gives examples of these violations of workers rights. Written by the TUC and Labour Behind the Label, 2006.

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1 - 10 of 13 Results