Thousands of children will see Disney’s new movie “Toy Story 3,” but few will know the real story behind some of the toys they get from the fairy-tale world that Disney creates.
A report, released by China Labor Watch (CLW), describes an undercover investigation, which the report alleges, that found children between the ages of 14 and 16 working at two Disney licensee factories: Hengtai Factory and Champion Crown (Shenzhen) Ltd. Hengtai is a large Hong Kong-invested toy factory with more than 2,000 employees. Champion Crown, headquartered in Hong Kong, is a Taiwan-invested factory, with some 600 workers. One factory makes Winnie the Pooh and Piglet toys and the other was making Disney dolls and stamps, according to the report.
In the report, CLW staff relate interviews with the workers who claimed that children often worked as much as 330 hours a month, including 150 hours of forced overtime, sometimes seven days in a row. Workers who refused overtime could be fired, according to the workers who were interviewed by CLW, the report says.
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Even though workers were supplied with gloves for handling hazardous chemicals, the report alleges they did not wear them because it made their work rate too slow.
In the report, CLW relates sattements from workers that they lived in cramped, dirty dormitories with as many as 12 to a room, with meals at one of the factories consisting of two vegetable dishes and one meat meal.
Read the report, “Investigation Report of Two Walt Disney Factories,” here.
Disney denies the report’s findings. According to The Independent newspaper:
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Disney said it sent investigators into the factories. A spokeswoman said: “Clearly the conditions outlined in this report are a breach of our labor standards and are unacceptable. We have started to investigate. As far as we can see, one of the factories is not authorized to make Disney products and the other is authorized to make Disney products on another site. For the most part we don’t have direct relationships with the factories. The factories undertake multiple relationships with our licensees. We work very hard to ensure that factories are monitored on a regular basis.”
CLW also released a separate report on Disney’s supply chain and its code of conduct. You can read that report, “Code of Conduct Is No More Than False Advertising” here.