OBS equipment released after Rio 2016 dispute

Olympic Broadcasting Services, the host broadcast organisation for all Olympic Games, has said equipment seized from it by Brazilian authorities has been returned.

Authorities seized the equipment on September 18 following the conclusion of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games after a court ruling accused OBS of breaching labour laws during the Paralympic and Olympic Games.

Prosecutors said OBS broke labour laws by making employees work irregular hours and for more than 10 hours a day during the two major events. The equipment was seized as insurance for any salary claims by workers.

In a joint statement reported by the Associated Press news agency, OBS and the Brazilian Public Ministry of Labour said the organisation “has committed to keep an account open in Brazil as guarantee for any future payment due to the workers.”

OBS will also contribute to the RioSolidario non-governmental organisation, which focuses on creating job opportunities in Rio, as well as education and professional development for “socially exposed” groups.

The statement added that OBS respects the “rights and working conditions of Brazilian workers” and “denies any illegality or irregularity during its operations of broadcasting the Rio Olympic Games.”

More than 7,000 staff from more than 70 different countries worked for OBS during the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games.