Unions ask FIFA to reveal sources of clothing…No to sweatshops & no to “unfair” competition


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An article on BizCommunity.com,  reported that trade unions (which are very strong and influential in South Africa)  have called on FIFA and the 2010 World Cup’s local organizing committee (LOC) to reveal where clothing products (of which there will be many) are sourced from.  This means that they are asking FIFA, and likely sponsors, to reveal where offical merchandise for the tournament is actually produced.  The article states that the trade unions are doing this to ensure that clothing made for next year’s tournament does not come from sweatshops. But their motivations are not ALL altruistic.

The article goes on to state:

Steve Grinter, of the International Textile and Garment Leather Workers’ Federation, on Wednesday, 26 August 2009, said that FIFA and the LOC should disclose where the clothing would come from.

He said South African clothing producers would find it difficult to “compete with suppliers from abroad who pay workers peanuts and violate their basic trade union rights”.

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via Flickr

Now it is clear that the trade unions are not making this request purely from altruistic motivations.  Regardless, it would be a major coup if the trade unions could get FIFA to reveal this information, and an even greater coup if they could enforce their request and ensure that FIFA merchandise does NOT come from sweatshops.

Seeing this article was a funny coincidence in light of a conversation I just had with a friend on Sunday night concerning ethical sourcing and CSR.  I certainly believe that ethical sourcing (both in regards to fair wages/fair labor practice and equitable global competition) is a huge part of the corporate social responsibility sphere.  And I’m just very heartened to see that a major player in South African politics is bringing these issues to the fore front.

Now let’s just see if these requests gain any traction with FIFA, the LOC, the South African government, and corporate sponsors!

Full article can be found here: http://www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/399/39372.htmlhttp://www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/399/39372.html

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