Olympic Workers Living in “Prison-Like Slums”
The living conditions for the 2012 Olympic workers have been described as prison-like slums due to their overcrowded and unhygienic accommodations.
At the camp, 75 Olympic cleaners are expected to share one shower. For every 25 staff members, there is one toilet, and there are ten people living in each room. These numbers clearly violate housing laws, as over two adults to a room is considered “overcrowded” and 100 people for every five washbasins is unsuitable, according to Health and Safety’s guidelines.
Many of the workers traveled from abroad in search of work. It was not until they arrived in London that they were informed there would be no work for the first two weeks, but they were expected to pay the cleaning company a rent of £18 a day — a total rent of over £550 a month — to sleep in the miserable camps.
Some of the cabins have flooded due to the constant rainy weather, so the Olympic cleaners must sleep in crowded rooms with ceiling leaks. The rain makes it difficult to walk through camp pathways, forcing workers to use a series of crates to cross flooded areas to avoid stepping in the sludge.
Suspiciously, the camp workers were forced to sign gagging orders so they would not speak to the press about the camp conditions, or invite friends and family to come visit. The camp director Craig Lovett of Spotless International Services assures the press that the Olympic living conditions are fair, but the secretive nature of the “security” contract suggests otherwise.
Originally, these job openings were supposed to go to unemployed Londoners, as many of them are struggling to find work. This never happened though, and the positions were filled mainly by foreign job-seekers who traveled to London, and consequently, required the living the quarters that Spotless International Services charges £550 per month in rent for.
Spokesmen for the camps have stated that they are trying to work out problems regarding the Olympic cleaner’s living areas, but that the camps are essentially up to standard and have all the necessary amenities.
Photo Credit: Dr. John Kelley, NOAA/NOS/COOPS