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Japan: Labour union requests inspections of Tokyo Olympic venues

Author: The Associated Press, Published on: 7 October 2019

"Labor union wants inspections at Games venues", 3 October 2019

Tokyo Olympic organizers and two government bodies building venues for next year’s games have until the end of the month to agree to outside inspections on construction sites.

Ambet Yuson, the general secretary of the Building and Wood Workers’ International [BWI], made the request...to officials of the Tokyo organizing committee, the Tokyo metropolitan government and the Japan Sport Council.

He is also asking them to meet with aggrieved workers.

The international trade union has been critical for several years of labor practices at venues for next year’s Olympics. Issues include health and safety, the treatment of migrant workers, the use of subcontractors, and wages.

Yuson said BWI has documented four deaths linked to work on Olympic venues and is trying to verify a fifth.

...Yuson said about 20 officials of all three bodies attended the meeting at the organizing committee offices, along with a representative by video call from the Switzerland-based International Olympic Committee.

In a statement, the organizing committee said it concluded “there was no violation of any laws. If their (BWI’s) understanding of this issue differed from ours, we asked them to provide objective and reliable proof of the points alleged in their report.”

Yuson said he was prepared to elevate the request to the IOC...

...[Yuson] said organizers and the government bodies argued that contractors or subcontractors were responsible for solving the labor issues...

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