Nearly 2 ½ months after the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, hundreds of workers still haven’t been paid and are planning to sue the local organizing committee to get their money.
Among those late getting paid are about 100 freelance contractors who worked as stadium announcers, show producers and DJs, and several hundred others who worked for the Olympic News Service, which produced written summaries about the sports and athletes at the Olympics and subsequent Paralympics.
“I’m working with a legal firm that is already representing someone involved with Rio 2016, so they have a pretty good handle what is going on,” Rocky Bester, a South African freelance show producer, told The Associated Press in an interview.
Bester, a spokesman for the 100 contractors, said he’s never experienced such problems at previous Olympics. This was his seventh, and he said all he’s received from Rio organizers is silence and excuses.
“We’ve had robust conversations at other Olympics about payments, but it’s always been an open conversation,” Bester said. “What is happening here is that no one is talking back. We’re sitting in the dark. We’re mushrooms at the moment.”
He termed it a “basic lack of respect.”
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