Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights' Response to Statement of VTech

June, 22 2012 Share


Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights
Response to Statement of VTech 

Statement by Charles Kernaghan, Director
Friday, June 22, 2012

VTech's manufacturing facilities are located in China, where the company has 33,000 employees.

For citizens and consumers across the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, Japan and other countries, it is critically important to understand how China operates.

In China there are no:

* Political or democratic freedoms;* Independent media;

* Legal defense of human, women's and worker rights;

* Right to freedom of association;

* Right to organize independent unions or to bargain collectively, or

* Religious and artistic freedoms.


In short, China plays by very different rules than those of North America, Europe, Australia and other countries.

Independent trade unions are outlawed in China, as are political and press freedoms.  In fact, it is very difficult for Westerners to know much, if anything at all, about VTech's workers in China.  I dare say that over the last 30 years, there have been no independent meetings of VTech workers in China with concerned consumers in North America, Europe or Australia.

What we can grasp is that VTech workers endure long hours-shifts of 12 to 15 hours a day-while being forced to stand the entire time.  Production goals are also excessive, as many workers are allowed just 2.25 seconds to complete each operation.  Security guards operate as factory police.  Dorm conditions are extremely primitive, as are VTech's cafeterias for workers.

It speaks volumes that each year some 80 percent of VTech workers are desperate to flee the factories, many even running away without the back wages owed them.

VTech management should immediately commit to working with the company's major clients in the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia to improve working conditions and respect for labor, human and women's rights.





More information at VTech Sweatshop in China - AT&T, Motorola, Wal-Mart and others