Frances O’Grady - TUC General Secretary
The TUC backed London’s bid to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games for a number of reasons.
We believed that it was time for one of the world’s great cities to stage one of the greatest sporting occasions.
We saw this as an opportunity to inspire a generation to take part in sport.
But most of all we recognised the legacy benefits that the Games could bring.
We wanted to see the physical transformation of a part of London that had been neglected for generations.
But most of all we believed that a world class sporting event should be associated with world class employment standards: during construction, during the Games themselves and, especially, through into the legacy period.
That was a high ambition. And rather like Team GB we did not achieve all that we set out to do in 2012. But with high safety standards, a commitment to the London Living Wage and fair treatment for volunteers, we can be proud of the fact that the Games were better for our involvement.
Now comes the real test – carrying that commitment through over the coming years and decades and making sure that the Games leave a real lasting legacy.
We are committed to doing that through our engagement with the legacy company and with the growth boroughs.
Raising employment standards including fair pay, reducing inequality, respect and a voice at work, these are our priorities for the economy and the country as a whole.
But would it not be great if the boroughs that hosted the 2012 Olympics could set an example for others to follow?
We do not underestimate the scale of the task. Reaching the growth boroughs’ target will be a big achievement, but just as important will be the way we go about it through the co-operative working and high standards that we saw before and during the Games.