Rio 2016 Olympic Games: International Evaluation and Handover Conference on “Campaign for Decent Work Towards and Beyond the 2016

30 June 2016 10:02

About 40 union leaders gathered in Rio de Janeiro on 16 and 17 June to evaluate the strategies of the Campaign for Decent Work Towards and Beyond the 2016 Rio Olympics held during the preparation for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, to share the experience of Brazilian trade unions with Japanese unions about the campaign strategy and to plan the next actions of the Brazilian unions for Decent Work in the country.

The works of the Olympics at their peak involved around 50,000 workers who were mobilized and organized by trade unions in two major strikes involving up to 25,000 workers and in 25 other stoppages for better working conditions, which resulted in victories such as 30% salary increase, the increase of food stamps in 50%, meals in the working time, Profit Sharing , monitoring the quality of PPE, access of officials to work sites and others. The information was shared by the President of SITRAICP, Nilson Duarte Costa. 

During the campaign BWI and the unions have worked in partnership with the Ministry of Labour and Employment since the signature of Technical Cooperation Agreement between FUNDACENTRO and BWI, which among other products generated a study on accidents in the works of World Cup 2014 and a Protocol on OHS in the works of the Olympic Games Rio 2016. The dialogue was also constant with the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee that have adopted partially Protocol suggestions in its OHS Policy. 

The Conference concludes a period of five years (2011-2016) where trade unions in the Latin American and Caribbean region were organizing and implementing campaigns on global mega-events such as the FIFA World Cup 2014 and the Summer Olympic Games Rio 2016. Finalized the preparations for these global events, the region will continue to campaign for Decent Work in regional events as the Games of Centro America and Caribbean, which will take place in Barranquilla Colombia, as stated Palmides Escorcia, a member of SINTRAPIZANO of Colombia. 

The Conference was divided into three working tables, the first of which analyzed the working conditions in the construction of sports infrastructure for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The inspector of the Regional Labour and Employment Superintendence (SRTE / MTE), Elaine Castilho, made a presentation on working conditions encountered by the institution in the works of the Olympics that was commented by Zeomar Tessaro, Secretary General SINTRACONMONPES and Carlos Antonio Figueiredo de Souza, President of SINTRACONST - RIO. The debate has highlighted the difference in working conditions between outsourced and contracted workers, 11 fatal and three serious accidents during the preparations for the Olympics.  The second panel, on forest certification, was attended by Tania Braga General Manager of Sustainability, accessibility and Legacy of the Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games; Aline Tristrão, Executive Director of FSC Brazil, and João Francisco Andrade, Member of the Board of FSC Brazil and President of SINTICOMP. 

They particularly stressed the importance of forest certification as a union tool to ensure Decent Work in the wood industry and advance the salary issues, equal pay for equal work, the right to freedom of association, right to collective bargaining and the prohibition of child labor, among others. 

The third panel aimed think the Campaign for Decent Work in Tokyo 2020 and the next trade union actions in Brazil. The panel had the contribution of Maria Cristina Felix, technical of Fundacentro of Rio de Janeiro; Raimundo Nonato Gomes, president of SINTEPAV-CE; Mauricio Rombaldi, Professor at the Federal University of Paraíba; Tos Añonuevo, BWI Global Education Secretary and Haroshi Iwasaki, President of BWI Affiliates Council in Japan. 

Then a visit to the Olympic Museum was held, where the conference participants could witness the handover ceremony from the campaign for decent work in the Olympic infrastructure in Rio de Janeiro to Tokyo Olympics in 2020, and finally visit the Olympic village where they could learn the experience of a construction made with certified wood and union work in a worksite in which at its peak had 9,000 workers.