Olympics: 2012 mascots in China 'sweat shop' row

 The organisers of this year's London Olympics said today they were investigating claims that cuddly toy versions of the Games mascots are being made by poorly paid workers in a Chinese factory.

Golden Bear, based in Telford, central England, has a licence to produce Olympic products based on Wenlock and Mandeville, the official mascots of the Olympics and Paralympics.
An inquiry was launched after media reports about the pay and conditions of the workers making the toys at a factory in China.

Golden Bear and the London organisers, LOCOG, said they were taking "seriously" the allegations that workers making the mascots were labouring for more than 11 hours a day for as little as 40 US cents an hour .

A London 2012 spokesman said the organisers place a high priority on "environmental, social and ethical issues" when securing goods and services and are taking the allegations "extremely seriously".

He said: "We have asked our independent monitor to carry out a comprehensive investigation and review of these allegations.

"The outcome of this investigation will be made public as soon as it is concluded.
"We have contacted all of our licensees to reiterate to them the importance we place on the sustainable sourcing code they have each signed up to."

Golden Bear said it was also conducting an immediate investigation, but confirmed that the factory in question had passed inspections by the International Council of Toy Industries (ICTI).

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