London 2012 Organisers Query Mascot Factory Breaching Workers Rights

January 23, 2012

The London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) is investigating claims over poor pay and conditions at a Chinese factory where toy Olympic mascots are being made.

A Shropshire-based firm Golden Bear is making Olympic products based on Wenlock and Mandeville – the official mascots of the Olympics and Paralympics.

But an inquiry has been launched into allegations that workers at the Chinese factory which is making the toys for Golden Bear is breaching workers’ rights.

Both the London Games organisers and Golden Bear are investigating claims that workers are labouring for up to 11.5 hours a day for as little as STG0.26 ($A0.39) per hour.

A London 2012 spokesman said it placed a high priority on ‘environmental, social and ethical issues’ when securing goods and services and was taking the allegations ‘extremely seriously’.

The spokesman said: “We have asked our independent monitor to carry out a comprehensive investigation and review of these allegations.

“The outcome of this investigation will be made public as soon as it is concluded.

“We have contacted all of our licensees to reiterate to them the importance we place on the sustainable sourcing code they have each signed up to.”

Golden Bear said it was also conducting an immediate investigation, but confirmed the factory in question had passed inspections by the International Council of Toy Industries.

The company’s statement said: “Golden Bear is extremely concerned about recent reports that a factory involved in a small amount of the production of the company’s Olympic product could be in breach of workers’ rights.

“We are a family-run business that takes these issues very seriously indeed and has in place certificates of compliance at all factories used to produce our products.

“We are therefore in the process of conducting an immediate investigation and will be able to comment on these findings as soon as they are known to us.”