Did you know someone slaved over these toys for a mere $1.50 an hour?

In a toy factory in Heyuan, southeastern China’s Guangdong province, hundreds of workers bury their heads in mountains of Disney’s Little Mermaid figurines.

However, as these workers try to keep up with the Christmas demand, they are found to be working in miserable conditions – excessive and illegal overtime, no holiday or sick pay, and for pay rates as low as $1.50 au an hour, an undercover investigation has revealed, shares Daily Mail.

While the Disney Princess Sing & Sparkle Ariel doll retails for $60 au online, each worker at the Wah Tung factory gets paid pittance per doll produced, according to a report published on Thursday by rights groups Solidar Suisse and China Labor Watch.

disney prioncess

The investigation, which took place between April and September this year, also revealed various serious labour violations at three other factories that produce toys for Hasbro, Mattel’s Fisher Price brand and other international toy companies.

The basic pay of 7.5 yuan ($1.50 au) is so low that workers have no choice but to work overtime, the report said.

Staff at the Heyuan factory said that they worked 175 hours of overtime in a month, with only one day off – nearly five times the legal limit of 36 hours. Both the excessive overtime and lack of rest days are breaches of Chinese labour law and toy industry codes of conduct.

A spokesman for Disney told The Guardian the company is a member of the ethical toy programme’s committed brands plus programme, which it used alongside others ‘as part of our responsible sourcing approach’.

He referred to a statement from ETP in which the council said it welcomed ‘any robust investigation which increases our understanding of working conditions at toy factories’.

Mattel said it had no current production in the factories mentioned in the China Labor Watch report.

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  • Sounds very sad but in some cases these people are glad to have a job that pays anything


  • It’s not fair for these workers, especially when top management get paid hundreds of thousands or even millions in bonuses!


  • Very sad indeed


  • Until the rules change it will keep happening even if you are buying the more expensive toys/clothes doesn’t mean that money is going to the workers.


  • Until people decide NOT to buy the cheapest then this will continue to happen. But the flip side is – at least these people can earn some money, which they wont if these factories go out of business.


  • Very sad ! But the thing is, people all of the world LOVE to buy toys, clothing and what not all from these countries, often thinking the cheaper the better. It’s a matter of supply and demand. We ourselves keep this situation going !


  • Thank you. I will avoid these toys.


  • I wonder what the cost of living is over there. By the time our Govt. adds customs duty, GST, freight, Aust. shop costs etc. I wonder what the profit per doll is when we buy them. I won’t be.


  • That is just disgraceful. No one should be paid so little.


  • Very sad to read such appalling wages!


  • Shocking! The saddest part is that a lot of the workers would be so poor, that they would be happy just to earn that much to provide for their families! I hope the company gets reprimanded and forced to pay its employees properly and also for some time off. It’s so easy to forget about the people behind the things we buy ????


  • The inequity of wages for labour in some countries is indeed appalling.

    • Companies can be researched to see if they do meet ethical requirements for workers and wages and production. I have read lists and some of the companies listed were surprising.


  • Unless you buy directly from an indie maker, thats the chance you take. Big brand toys are mass produced and generally anything mass produced is ripping someone off somewhere.


  • It’s very sad that workers in some china factories are underpaid something should be done about this


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