construction of roof supports at the London 2012 Aquatics Centre in February 2009

Unions Agree to Partner on Safety for London's 2012 Olympics

The Trades Union Congress, representing about 6.5 million workers in 58 labor unions, signed a Principles of Co-operation agreement this week that pledges to work in partnership for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics in areas including training, health and safety, and fair employment standards. About 30,000 workers are expected to be involved in building the Olympic Park and Village, and the total workforce during the games will be about 3,000 London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) staffers, more than 100,000 contract staffers, and 70,000 volunteers.

The agreement was signed by TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber, LOCOG Chair Sebastian Coe, and Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) Chair John Armitt.

Announced March 19, the agreement is not legally binding and does not supersede any agreement between ODA and construction unions, according to TUC.

"Even during these testing economic times, the fantastic progress already made on the Olympic site is a tribute to what can be achieved through co-operation between unions and employers," Barber said. "The principles set out our shared commitment towards training and apprenticeships, equality, and positive industrial relations. We want London 2012 to be an unforgettable experience for athletes, spectators, and workers alike. The Olympic project doesn't end with the closing ceremony, and we are excited at the prospect of London 2012 rejuvenating the area and providing jobs, houses, and facilities for future generations."

Armitt said the principles "build on our existing positive agreement with construction unions covering the work to deliver the venues and infrastructure for London 2012. They further demonstrate a shared commitment to not only delivering a huge and complex project on time and to budget, but also to high health and safety standards with fair employment conditions and a real employment and skills legacy."

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