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.
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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