Photo: Wikimedia Commons
A labour watchdog is slamming Olympic organisers over reports that London 2012 merchandise was made in “sweatshops” in China, AFP reports.The Hong Kong-based Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (Sacom) – who previously revealed abusive labour conditions at Disney, Mattel and Apple factories – said that workers at two Chinese factories producing Olympics merchandise worked up to 120 hours of overtime a month, or nearly three times the legal limit.
The workers were reportedly exposed to hazardous chemicals without sufficient protective gear and some had to buy their own face masks to guard against paint mist, according to AFP.
In January organisers of the Games said they were investigating claims that workers making toy versions of its mascots were laboring more than 11 hours a day for as little as 40 cents an hour.
Sacom based its findings on interviews with 90 workers at two factories, run by Hong Kong companies Key Pine and Zindart Manufacturing, in southern Guangdong province between May and June.
The claims contribute to the growing list of signs that the London Olympics will be a disaster.
Workers also said that they were docked half-day’s wage for arriving five minutes late while being required to start shifts at 8 a.m. after finishing at midnight the previous day.
Sacom, which was instrumental in the Apple/Foxconn scandal, urged the International Olympic Committee to investigate the claims and prevent such labour abuses in the future.
The events for the Olympics begin today.
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