Sunday July 22, 2012 www.thecatholicuniverse.com
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Miraculous journey to Lourdes
Following in the footsteps of the annual Raphaël Pilgrimage that brings hope to the sick See page 12
Adidas hit by Olympic sweatshop protesters
By Paul Donovan
Catholic aid agencies and justice organisations have expressed their horror at claims that one of the Olympics’ major sponsors has been paying sweatshop wages to its workers in South East Asia.
The campaign group Labour Behind the Label have claimed that some workers supplying Adidas are being paid just £10 a week, or 34p an hour.
The group sent out activists this week to flagship shops across the country to put 34p tags on the offending items.
Labour Behind the Labour cite a breach of an agreement with the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) that merchandise suppliers must pay workers a sustainable living wage.
The charity War on Want points out that Adidas estimates that interest generated by its association with the Games will bring sales of its Olympic products to £100m, with four billion people expected to watch on television.
“Despite years of exposés, codes of conduct and corporate social responsibility reports, too many workers making goods for us still face exploitative conditions. Changing this has to be a priority,” said Anne Lindsay, lead analyst on the private sector at aid agency CAFOD.
“We want brands and suppliers to put sufficient energy and time into making sure that workers in their global supply chains do actually receive a living wage.
“The same goes for making a basic human right – the freedom to join an independent union – a reality.
“We know that audits alone don’t work and workers need to feel safe so that they can organise and negotiate for better conditions without the risk of getting fired.
“Global companies are thinking about their due diligence on human rights now – living wage and freedom of the association have to be at the top of the list.”
Chair of the Westminster Justice and Peace Commission, Fr Joe Ryan, declared that receiving a just wage is a basic human right outlined in Catholic Social Teaching.
“Exploitation is unfair and in no way justified but sadly is as alive today as at any time,” said Fr Ryan, who stressed that there was a duty on people to act responsibly and sustainably by checking where and how goods they purchase have been produced.
“If we are not aware ... and go ahead and purchase, then we are part of the exploitative process,” said Fr Ryan, who paid tribute to the fair trade movement as a means to overcome such exploitation.
Living wage campaigners Citizens UK point out that: “The London Olympics is the first Living Wage Olympics where practically all the workers on site during both the construction and the delivery phase are paid the London Living Wage (presently set at £8.30 an hour).
“This historic deal was brokered with the London Bid Committee in 2004 by London Citizens. This does not apply to the sponsors because they have already invested money in the Games.
Neil Jameson, director of Citizens UK and London Citizens, said: “It would be totally in the spirit of the Olympics for Adidas to pay their workers a local living wage or give them a special bonus reward for working on products for the London Olympics.”
Continued on page 2
In New York, the Xavier Society is bringing the word of Our Lord to the visually impaired Pages 16 and 17
‘Grimmy’ will bring touch of northern style to Radio One
With his sculpted hairdo, his roster of cool mates and appearances at all the best parties, new Radio One breakfast host Nick Grimshaw seems a world away from the rough and ready charm of fellow Catholic DJ Chris Moyles.
But he will carry on a tradition of outspoken northern cheekiness which served Moyles well during his years on the flagship show.
Yet unlike 38-year-old Moyles,
‘Grimmy’ is firmly within the station’s 15-29 target audience.
Crucially for a station trying to reduce the age profile of its listeners, he is very much in touch with the lives and interests of the youth of today.
Grimshaw, 27, is known for being a face around town and has also fronted numerous other TV and radio shows.
Full story see page 3