Thursday, August 12, 2004

"Sew-in" in Athens to highlight problems faced by sportswear workers

Athens, August 10, 2004: The Play Fair at the Olympics campaign staged an action in Athens on the eve of the opening of the Olympic games in solidarity with sportswear workers worldwide.

Twenty women gathered on an Athens rooftop to mark a silent protest staged by the Play Fair at the Olympics campaign. Play Fair held a "sew-in", featuring "faceless" activists, operating sewing machines against the backdrop of the Acropolis.

The action was staged in order to highlight the appalling working conditions experienced by hundreds of thousands of workers in the sportswear industry. They face punishing work schedules, poverty wages, harassment and discrimination on a daily basis.

Spokespersons from the campaign commented that improvements had been seen in the sportswear sector, but serious problems still exist, and much more needs to be done to ensure workers' right are respected in this global industry. They also announced that the IOC had declined to accept over half a million signatures from campaign supporters in Athens.

To see photos from the stunt Launched on March 4, 2004 by Oxfam, the Clean Clothes Campaign and Global Unions, the Play Fair at the Olympics campaign is one of the largest ever worldwide mobilizations against sweatshops. The rooftop event was part of a wider mobilization in the run up to the games.

Other actions include a regional workers' Olympics in Thailand and a journey made by 27 cyclists from Belgium to Greece in support of the campaign.

The ICFTU represents 148 million workers through its 234 affiliated national trade union centres in 152 countries and territories. ICFTU is also a member of Global Unions

By Stitch Up posted 12 August 04

For more information, please contact the ICFTU Press Department on +32 2 224 0232 or +32 476 621 018.
International Confederation of Free Trade Unions(ICFTU)
Boulevard du Roi Albert II 5, B1, B-1210 Brussels, Belgium. For more information please contact ICFTU Press on: +32 (2) 224 0232 -


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