OBS Equipment Languishing in Brazil

(ATR) A judge in Rio would not allow Olympic Broadcasting Services to retrieve equipment during an ongoing lawsuit.

Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) camera people film the women's third round singles tennis match between Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova and Britain's Johanna Konta at the Olympic Tennis Centre of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on August 9, 2016. / AFP / Roberto SCHMIDT        (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) camera people film the women's third round singles tennis match between Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova and Britain's Johanna Konta at the Olympic Tennis Centre of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on August 9, 2016. / AFP / Roberto SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)

(ATR) A judge in Rio de Janeiro would not allow Olympic Broadcasting Services to retrieve equipment still in Brazil during an ongoing lawsuit.

A Brazilian court is holding the assets of OBS over a claim from a prosecutor that contract workers were forced to fulfill "abusive working hours" in Rio. A Rio prosecutor accepted the suit from the Public Ministry of Work (MPT) in Rio over non-compliance with Brazilian labor laws. OBS is believed to have forced contract employees to work a shift longer than what is allowed and were not paid for it.

A spokesperson for the MPT told Around the Rings that OBS tried, unsuccessfully, to have the assets returned while the lawsuit continues.

"OBS filed an injunction to release of goods," the spokesperson said. "[The court] dismissed the application and upheld the detention of goods and blocking of securities held by the company in Brazil."

OBS could not comment on the injunction to ATR, in respect to the ongoing legal process. OBS serves as the host broadcaster for an Olympic Games, and provides feeds for rights holders to use during broadcasts.

The broadcaster was created by the IOC, but exists as a separate corporation founded in Madrid. To operate in Rio during the 2016 Olympics, a temporary company (CNPJ) was created to allow for the hiring of contract workers both Brazilian and foreign for the Games.

A statement from OBS after the lawsuit said the company "takes pride" in ensuring all local regulations and laws are respected for contract workers during the Games.

"Regardless of where the Games take place the professionals participating in the operation are provided with working conditions which are in line with the best practices of the industry at an international level and makes extraordinary efforts to help the development of broadcasting professionals at the Host Cities of the Games," the statement said.

Written by Aaron Bauer

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