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.


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Photo Credit: Dr. John Kelley, NOAA/NOS/COOPS


federico bortoletto
federico b5 years ago


Dee Campbell
Deborah Campbell5 years ago

sad news re Olympic camps, is this real?-I would like to see some evidence however...
if people immigrate that is also sad,,,jobs should first go the to the unemployed Brits...
unfortunately in my own city a similar situation occurred....a local construction company brought in workers from California to do just the road work (signs, give directions) when so many here needed the work-how do I know? I asked one lady re a road closure near the cemetery ...she responded "how would I know, we workers came from California"

Sarah Silva
Sarah kim5 years ago

That they are not being forced to accept these jobs? Well, last time I checked people are forced to immigrate to find employment opportunities, trust me, they are forced by conditions of poverty and high unemployment in their countries of origin to have to come to another country and have to endure living conditions such as the one described in this article. If unemployment is an issue in the UK, now can imagine in more vulnerable countries? But that doesn't mean they should not be guaranteed humane and healthy living and working conditions.

Steve R.
Steve R5 years ago

"Olympic Workers Living in “Prison-Like Slums”....

Careful Kara Foran - the British press will be calling you a "Romney".....

You know - as in "twit"!

Goodness me - imagine if Romney was right? Land sakes!!!!

Maxien F.
Maxien Gorry5 years ago

Proof please.

MEGAN N5 years ago

So now we complain when rain turns into mud? Good luck in the real world. Next time maybe they should ask for lodging in the four seasons.

Berny p.
Berny p5 years ago

good luck london...you are doing just great!

Elizabeth Godfrey
Past Member 5 years ago

If true, this is an absolute disgrace and reinforces my view that all too often when private companies are left to provide services, they exploit the most vulnerable in order to make the Directors of the Company obscenely wealthy. Of course the commissioning bodies are also guilty of not setting minimum standards for pay and conditions for workers and actually checking up,( completely randomly ) to ensure those conditions are fully met. No doubt an enquiry will be set up after the fact to find out what went wrong!

Tian Tian He
tian tian He5 years ago

I wonder if the Olympics could have two or three host countries at a time so the financial burden could be shared...?

stella bleu
stella bleu5 years ago

The Olympics are a sham and a complete waste of money. I'd like to see that money go to housing for the homeless, education, health care and animal rights. Instead, they're blowing millions for a 2 week extravaganza that will put them into debt for the next 20 years. Fair play? I think not.