Disney's Children's Books Made with the Blood, Sweat and Tears of Young Workers in China

A report by

Students and Scholars
Against Corporate Misbehavior (Sacom)
Room 1204, Wing Lee Industrial Building
54-58 Tong Mi Road, Mangkok, Kowloon
HONG KONG

Tel: 852-6726-7342 

www.sacom.org.hk
sacom@sacom.org.hk

National Labor Committee
75 Varick Street, Ste. 1500
New York, NY 10013
Tel: 212-242-3002
Fax: 212-242-3821
www.nlcnet.org

 


One would hardly associate Disney's children's books with crushed and broken fingers, lacerated hands, broken legs and even deaths.  But disturbingly, that is the case at the Hung Hing plant in China—where Disney is the major client—and where serious work injuries are almost a daily occurrence.

In China, young women and men are forced to work 10 to 13 hours a day producing Disney's children's books six and seven days a week, working a grueling 60 to 90 hours a week.  The workers are paid just 33 to 41 cents an hour, trapping them in misery.  It is common for the workers to be cheated of their overtime pay.  In some factories, women are denied their legal maternity rights.  Eight to 12 workers are housed in primitive dorm rooms sleeping on double level bunk beds and fed horrible food at the factory canteen.  Workers often faint from exhaustion and the unbearably stifling heat in the factories.  Workers have no health insurance, no pension, no rights.  They have no right to freedom of association or to organize.

But the workers are fighting back in search of basic justice.  And—in what is a hugely important development—students and scholars in Hong Kong (formed as SACOM—Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior) are joining their sisters and brothers in China in this struggle.

The National Labor Committee, together with SACOM and our NGO partners in Hong Kong, intend to launch an international campaign to shame Disney into doing the right thing.

The demands of the Chinese workers are simple and doable.  Disney must release the names and addresses of the factories they use across China to make their goods.  Disney must allow SACOM and other human, women's and worker rights NGOs access to these plants to train the workers so they can play the key role in monitoring  these factories.  This will bring an end to the violations.

Please join the campaign and spread the word.

Table of Contents

 

 

 


Hung Hing Printing (Shenzhen) Limited Corporation
Hung Hing Industrial Park
Fu Yong Shen, Shenzhen 518103
China

Phone: (86) 755-2738/2288
Fax: (86) 755-6373/6375
E-mail: info@hhop.com.hk

Hung Hing has three factories in Shenzhen: Treasure Happiness Packaging; Hung Hing Paper Products and Hung Hing Modern Paper Limited Corporation.

Hung Hing Modern Paper Limited Corporation produces educational, interactive and cartoon books for children, along with toy owner's manuals, and other puzzles and books.

The workers say: "In our factory, the products vary, but Disney is our big client."

The Hung Hing Factory also produces for Wal-Mart and other giant U.S. retailers.

There are approximately 12,000 workers in Hung Hing's three Shenzhen plants. Seventy percent of the workers are women. Most are 18 to 35 years of age. Almost all of the workers are from rural provinces.

NOTE: This NLC report is a summary of the more in-depth, longer, and much richer SACOM research which can be found at: http://www.sacom.hk/.


Hung Hing Disney and Wal-Mart workers appeal for Justice

Male worker read from a petition:

My co-workers: It is time that we unite and stand up! For our own legal rights, we should take the initiative. Let's sign here to strongly demand that the factory improve the working conditions to ensure employees' safety, to provide factory dorms for the employees and to buy retirement insurance for the workers in accordance with the law. The truth is always on our side.

[Signed by]
Those with a sense of justice.

Another worker writes:

Dear Fellow Workers:

     Hello everyone! In this scorching hot summertime, the daily lives of we, the laboring workers are not good. It is time for us also to think of ourselves. Is it alright, the way we are living and the food we are eating? Isn't it awful, the food we are given by the factory? Compared to before, it's not the same. The difference is clear. Worse still is the people (the cafeteria workers and security guards) who curse at us like we are criminals. This too, let us put aside for the moment. The biggest problem is our living situation. In this blazing hot summer, when we are living in rented housing outside the factory, going to and coming from work is really troublesome. After we finish a full day of work, we're dead tired, and we still have to make our ways home. Especially in the rain, this pain is recognized. Even though we're unwilling, we still have to pay rent on this house we bitterly exchange our sweat and blood for. What's more horrible still are the dangerous conditions we're subjected to after work. On a daily basis, our fellow workers leaving work to go home are hit by cars and injured or killed. And because this is not considered a work injury, the medical expenses are left to the worker to be paid by himself. Right now, our wages are miserably low. Each month, about 600-700 yuan. Renting a house for a month costs about 100 yuan. Additionally, our houses are so far from the factory, on rest days we are not permitted to eat at the factory, so eating out we have to spend still more of our money. After working for a month, feeling in our pockets to see how much money we have left, we find only a few pennies. Pitiful, pitiful, really pathetic! Tell me, how can we face our parents, wives or husbands, and daughters and sons in this way?


     Honorable leaders, can't you find in your hearts a little bit of mercy? If you think of us workers, we entered the factory over a year ago, but we still are not given dormitory housing. You also ought to see our point of view. For example, we entered the factory to work over a year ago, but we still are not given dormitory housing. We ought to receive a reimbursement. Those who have worked here for half a year also ought to receive a sum in reimbursement. This is the only way we can successfully continue to work in the factory.

A Dangerous Place to Work

One would hardly associate Disney's children's books with crushed and broken fingers, lacerated hands, broken legs and even deaths. But, disturbingly, that is the case at the Hung Hing plants in China, where Disney is the major client.

 

 

The frequency of occupational injuries and accidents at Hung Hing is exceptionally high. Indeed, some workers report that almost every day someone is injured. And Hung Hing ranks among the top 30 factories in the Shenzhen Industrial Area with the highest number of workrelated injuries in 2004. Making children's books for Disney should not be a dangerous occupation. Disney must move immediately to correct these serious safety problems.

A woman with eight years experience working at Hung Hing factories described some of the work-related injuries she personally witnessed first hand:

 

 

According to interviews conducted with the Hung Hind workers at a local hospital in May 2005, the folowing were some of the occupational injuries they experienced at work.

 

 

After completing the cutting of one batch of paper, there is always paper stuck at the back of the machine which needs to be removed. After having turned off the machine and as he was reaching in to retrieve the stuck paper, the inertia of the machine pulled Ing's hand in and it was trapped between two narrowly spaced presses, injuring his hand all the way to his palm. If the machine had not been turned off, he would have lost his entire hand.

 

 

During his first hospital stay from June 16 to August 20, 2004, Hung Hing management did not even provide adequate funds for Wu to purchase his meals at the hospital.

At Hung Hing, there are many more work-related injuries than what is reported to the state Social Security Bureau. First, less serious injuries are treated in the factory clinic. Only workers with more serious injuries are sent to the hospital for treatment. And of these, not all of the workers treated at the hospital will report to the Social Security Bureau. After they have recovered, management negotiates privately with the workers, arranging to pay them an inconsequential amount of money as compensation. If the workers want to keep their jobs at Hung Hing, they have no alternative but to quietly accept what management offers.


More Injuries and Deaths

(Excerpts from Interviews with workers from the "Those With Justice" SACOM [August 2005] film.)

Women in khaki pants & light blue top uses a Disney book (Mickey and Friends, Haunted Halloween) to illustrate how injuries can happen in her job.

While producing a book like this, many chances of injury can happen. When making this cover, we use a machine to press this edge. But there is no safety device—It depends on your carefulness. Because the book is very small, when pressing it, our hand gets very close to where the machine (It is still board) presses. When we put it in, if we are not careful, our fingers will be pressed together with this book.

When applying the glue to the book"during this process, including making the cover"a constantly running adhesive machine is used. We need to feed it manually. Insert like this and then pull it out while it is still running. If we are not careful, our hand could be rolled in with the material.

Man in bandaged partially amputated forefinger:

When my hand reached in a little bit further, the machine pressed down here.

Woman #2 in work smock:

Seemed like a girl got her whole shoulder in. We dared not look. Plus our supervisor did not allow us to see"her head could have rolled into the machine.

Woman in black silkscreened t-shirt with bandaged finger:

They only briefly tell you about the process such as, 'how to do this,' and 'do not violate.' On each floor, if an accident happens, work stops for 2 minutes. Then everyone's bonus would be deducted. If it is a small injury, they could arrange for you to rest. Instead they would persuade you not to, saying, 'Don't take time off.'  [Photo of badly injured hand.].. 'Take some medicine,' or 'I can arrange an easier position for you.' If you rest for a day, 33 yuan [one day's wage] would be deducted.

Hours:

Woman Worker:

I worked at Hung Hin for almost 1 year.  You must start working here before your shift starts.  If you can't then you would be blamed harshly.  We always worked overtime, 10 - 12 hours.  [Management] promised to compensate us, but they never did.

The official shift at Hung Hing is 12 hours a day, from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., six days a week,with a one-hour-and-twenty-minute lunch break. Actual working time is 10.67 hours per day. This means the workers are at the factory 72 hours a week while working 64 hours.

Official Working Hours
(Six days a week)

  • 7:30 a.m. to 12:50p.m. (work/5.33 hours)
  • 12:50 p.m. to 2:10 p.m. (lunch/1.33 hours)
  • 2:10 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (work/5.33 hours)

 

In practice however the actual workday appears to be at least an hour longer. Hung Hing workers are paid according to a piece rate tied to very high production goals. If they miss their daily target, their wages drop. To avoid this, it is not uncommon to remain working an extra hour—unpaid—until they reach their goal.

A Mother's Sadness
Her four-year-old daughter no longer recognizes her


Many of the Hung Hing workers are migrants who have left their rural provinces in search of work. They have had to leave their families behind, and few have the time or money to travel home.

Woman worker:

I have two children. My daughter is still young. When I came out to work, she was only a year and a half.

Interviewer: How old is she now?

Woman in smock: Four years old.

Interviewer: Hasn't seen mom for a while—she certainly cannot recognize you.

Woman in smock: I went back once. I looked familiar to her. I asked her, 'Can you recognize me?' After staring at me for a while, she said, 'Are you my aunt?' [She laughs ruefully.]

 


More pervasive is management's practice of placing enormous pressure on the workers to arrive a half hour early each day and to remain working a half hour after the official shift is supposed to end at 7:30 p.m. It is also factory policy not to allow the workers to leave the plant until 8:00 p.m.

If any mistakes made during the day need to be redone, the workers are obligated to remain working one to two hours of overtime to complete the corrections. These hours are not paid.

If management deems that a section of the factory is too untidy, they will obligate workers on that part of the production line to remain after their shift ends—again unpaid—to sweep and mop the floor.

So, in practice, the real workday is from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., or 13 hours a day, six days a week. This would put the workers at the factory 78 hours a week while actually working 70 hours.

Actual Shift
(Six days a week)

  • 7:00 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. (work/5.83 hours)
  • 12:50 p.m. to 2:10 p.m. (lunch/1.33 hours)
  • 2:10 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (work/5.83 hours)

Wages:

A male worker:

"Right now, our wages are miserably low. Each month, about 600 to 700 yuan ($17.64 to $20.58 a week). "After working for a month, feeling in our pockets to see how much money we have left, we find only a few pennies. Pitiful, pitiful, really pathetic! Tell me, how can we face our parents, wives or husbands, and daughters and sons in this way?"

A second male worker:

"When you get off from work, have you ever thought that we are far away from home? What are we striving for with the price of our youth, sweat, even blood and tears? Wage. Yes, it's wage."

 

Hung Hing pays 33 yuan, or $4.07 a day, for officially 10 hours of work, or 41 cents an hour, which meets the legal minimum wage.

Official Wage

  • 41 cents an hour
  • $4.07 a day (10 hours)
  • $24.44 a week (60 hours)
  • $102.66 a month

But as we have seen, in practice the real workday is 11.67 hours and not 10 hours. This lowers the real wage to just 35 cents an hour, which is below the legal minimum wage. 

Actual Wage

  • 35 cents an hour
  • $4.07 a day (11.67 hours)
  • $24.44 a week (70 hours)
  • $102.66 a month

  At Hung Hing, a worker's first month's wage is withheld as a deposit, and he or she only receives their first pay on the 28th of the second month.

A subsistence level wage in the Shenzhen area where Hung Hing is located would be approximately 3,000 yuan a month, or $370.36, which comes to $2.14 an hour.

For a family of three—mother, father and young child—to climb out of misery and into the lower middle class where they could exist with a modicum of decency, it would cost 3,000 yuan a month. Rent for a small two-bedroom flat in the less expensive outlying areas of Shenzhen still costs 1,000 yuan a month, or $123.45, which is considerably more than the Hung Hing workers earn in a month, despite working 70 hours a week. Food, household expenses, education, clothing, transportation and health care costs would total another 2,000 yuan, or $246.91.

Subsistence level wage in Shenshen
(Estimated by respected local
NGO in Hong Kong)

  • $2.14 an hour
  • $17.12 a day (8 hours)
  • $85.47 a week (40 hours)
  • $370.36 a month
  • $4,444.33 a year

 

Even if we take the high wage of 41 cents an hour at the Hung Hing factory, this wage still provides less than 20 percent of the cost of living for a family of three. Suppose the two parents worked side by side at Hung Hing making children's books for Disney, their combined wage of 82 cents an hour would still provide less than 40 percent of the cost necessary to climb out of the misery the Hing Hong workers describe.

Workers face enormous and constant pressure to produce

"But they never treat us like this."

Holding a Disney children's book, a woman worker explains:

We needed to smooth down the book corners. They would tell us that foreigners are superior to us"'Foreign kids skin is especially sensitive,' they would say. You need to be responsible to them. But they never treat us like this.

 

Women workers:

Male worker:

"The daily lives of we, the laboring workers, are not good"after we finish a full day of work, we're dead tired, and we still have to make our ways home."

Food and Dorm

Food at the Hung Hing factory canteen is free. Management says this meal allowance is worth 150 yuan a month, or $18.52. This amounts to just 61 cents a day for each worker and 20 cents per meal. The workers describe the food as terrible. One worker asks: "Isn't it awful, the food we are given in the factory? Compared with before, it's not the same. The difference is clear. Worse still is the people (cafeteria workers and security guards) who curse at us like we are criminals."

About half the workers live in company dorms, which are free. Each room has four to six double-level bunk beds which house eight to 12 workers. Each room has a shared toilet. The dorms do not provide hot water, so the workers have to go to a separate building to shower or they can use government public baths which are meant for the very poor. Sometimes the water pressure is so low, especially during the summer, that the only access the workers have to water is from a water truck. Each worker is limited to just two buckets of water for bathing.

The Hung Hing factory has expanded so rapidly that only about half the workers can be housed in the free company dorms. The other half—those most recently hired—have to find rooms to rent outside the Hung Hing Industrial Park. Two workers might share a single room without a bath, which will cost each worker 100 yuan per month, or $12.35. This does not include water or electricity bills, but it still wipes out about 15 percent of the workers' wages. A common complaint is that the factory does not reimburse these workers for the cost of their rent. Also, some of these apartments are a half hour's walk from the factory, which is not easy when you are working 13 hours a day. On Sundays when the factory is shut down, workers living outside the industrial park must also purchase their own food. The cheapest meal they can eat costs three yuan, or 37 cents. A slightly better meal would cost five yuan and 62 cents, but they cannot afford that. Three meals on Sunday cost these workers $1.11, which takes another cut out of their wages.

There is another inconvenience for those living outside the factory. During their breaks these workers cannot go back to a dorm room, and have no other place to wait but sitting on the street outside.

There is also a great danger when thousands of workers pour out of the factory at the same time, with people crowded onto the roads walking, rushing to get home or to buy a meal. And some of these roads are major highways used by the large container trucks which are usually speeding to and from the ports. Many Hung Hing workers have been injured and some even killed in traffic accidents. Some factories hire traffic guards during rush hour, but Hung Hing does not.

Male worker:

The biggest problem is our living situation. In this blazing hot summer, when we are living in rented housing outside the factory, going to and coming from work is really troublesome. After we finish a full day of work, we're dead tired, and we still have to make our ways home. Especially in the rain, this pain is recognized. Even though we're unwilling, we still have to pay rent on this house we bitterly exchange our sweat and blood for. What's more horrible still are the dangerous conditions we're subjected to after work. On a daily basis, our fellow workers leaving work to go home are hit by cars and injured or killed. And because this is not considered a work injury, the medical expenses are left to the worker to be paid by himself.

Woman worker:

The break period during the night shift is also a big problem. There is no place for you to rest. We have a 1 hour break, but there are 1-2,000 people working at night"It's a bit better in summer, but in the cold winter, we just sit along the road. During that hour, you just sit there to kill time.

If there is a power outage during the shift or other reasons the work stops, it can be 2 or 3:00 a.m., the managers would tell you to go home. But these workers live far from the factory, some in very isolated places. This is a big safety problem. No one considers what may happen to the girls walking home late at night.

Another woman adds

The other day, I saw a woman was hit by the traffic at this crossing. She was dead. I saw it with my own eyes.

Interviewer: A Hung Hing worker?

Woman: Yes, she is. She wore the factory uniform, and her hair was tied in a ponytail. I saw a lot of blood flowing from her head. I was too scared to move.

Hung Hing management claims there is a union in their plant

The workers have no idea that a union exists, and have never seen any activity whatsoever from the "union." In fact, it appears that a senior Hung Hing manager heads the Trade Union Committee.

Disney Code of Conduct is meaningless and audits are a sham

Most Hung Hing workers do not know a single thing about Disney's corporate code of conduct, which is supposed to help guarantee the rights of the workers. The Codes are posted on bulletin boards, but as they have no meaning or relevance, they workers ignore them.

Disney audits are also a sham

Hung Hing appears to be monitored once or twice a year by each of its clients. All such monitoring visits are known well in advance. Before each audit, management instructs the workers to give model answers to the questions, denying that there are any problems in the factory. Those who respond correctly will be given a bonus. Anyone telling the truth about factory conditions will be fired.

Woman worker: Foreigners often come to visit the factory.

Male worker:
When people check our factory, our factory puts on a facade. Before they come, the management would notify us. They would give us some materials for us to recite in case we are asked questions. They would warn you to be aware of what you say.

Male worker:
I hope the factory can be less hypocritical. They shouldn't wait till clients come to make things better. They should pay attention to potential problems on a daily basis.

 

No health insurance or pension
In violation of China's law, Hung Hing does not provide health insurance to its workers (who are only insured for occupational injuries) or retirement insurance.

Hung Hing Workers Inside the Factory

Lunchtime at the factory canteen

Dorm food

 

Hung Hing Workers' Living Conditions 

Workers taking a noon break by road  

Worker dormitories

Dorm of male workers

Dorm bathroom of mail workers

Dorm shower of female workers

Dorm toilet of female workers

Female dorm bathrooms; each floor has one

Rent apartment bedroom; 4 workers sleep in 2 double beds

 

According to US Customs documents obtained by PIERS, in November 2004 alone, the Hung Hing Printing Centre sent 90 shipments to the United States of children's books, puzzles, and other stationary. The combined estimated value of these 90 shipments was $15,232,354.

In June of 2005, Hung Hing sent out 147 shipments of children's books and stationary to the United States. The combined estimated value of these shipments was $14,496,720.

 


 

Customs Documents Documenting Shipments of Childrens' Books from Hung Hing to the U.S.

 

 


 


 

 

 

The Walt Disney Company
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521
P: 818.560.1000
F: 818.560.1930

Financial Highlights:

Fiscal Year Annual Income Profits Advertising Expenses Daily Advertising Expenses
2004 $30,752,000,000 $2,542,000,000 $3,000,000,000 $8,219,178
2003 $27,061,000,000 $1,465,000,000 $2,500,000,000 $6,489,315
2002 $25,329,000,000 $1,337,000,000 $2,300,000,000 $6,301,369
 

 Chief Executive Officer: Michael Eisner

Fiscal Year Total Annual Compensation Compensation per Day Compensation per Hour
2004 $8,312,373 $31,970.67 $3,996.33
2003 $7,318,431 $28,147.81 $3,518.45
2002 $6,092,894 $23,434.21 $2,929.28

The following shareholder resolution, "China and Labor Standards" was introduced at the Walt Disney Company's annual shareholder meeting in March 2005. The Office of the Comptroller of New York City introduced the resolution, and the Disney Board of Directors recommended that shareholders vote No on the resolution.

Proposal 2—China Labor Standards

The Company has been notified that a representative of the Office of the Comptroller of New York City, as custodian and trustee for the New York Retirement Systems, intends to present the following proposal for consideration at the annual meeting:

"Whereas, The Walt Disney Company currently has extensive operations in China, and

"Whereas, human rights abuses in the overseas subsidiaries and suppliers of U.S.
corporations can lead to negative publicity, public protests and a loss of consumer
confidence, which can have a negative impact on shareholder value, and

"Whereas, the Hong Kong Christian Industrial Committee has surveyed over twenty toy manufacturers in south China, including a number of suppliers of Disney and other major U.S. toy companies, and

"Whereas, the study found a number of violations of Disney's corporate code of conduct on the part of its suppliers, as well as violations of Chinese Labor Law, and

"Whereas, the study found that a large majority of workers surveyed at those supplier factories were unaware of the corporate codes of conduct of Disney and other U.S. toy companies that are supplied by their factories,

"Therefore, be it resolved, that shareholders request that the Board of Directors review and report to shareholders by September 2005, on the adherence of Disney's suppliers in China to Disney's corporate code of conduct, to the provisions of the Chinese government's Labor Law, and to the core conventions of the International Labor Organization (ILO). This report should be prepared at reasonable expense and contain no proprietary information."

"Supporting Statement: "The New York City Employees' Retirement System, the New York City Teachers' Retirement System, and the New York City Police and Fire
Department Pension Funds (the 'Systems'), believe that the adoption of this resolution will benefit the company by helping to ensure that it is not associated with human rights violations in the workplace. We urge you to vote FOR this proposal."

 

 


Disney in China

Making Children's Books at the Nord Race Factories


NOTE: This NLC report is a summary of the more in-depth, longer, and much richer SACOM research which can be found at: http://www.sacom.hk/.

 


 

Nord Race Paper International Limited
Nord Race Industrial Park
Xincheng Road
Qiaotou Town
Dongguan City, Guangdong Province
China

Hours:

The peak season at Nord Race usually lasts five or six months, from July to early December. However, even in March 2005, one woman reported being kept at the factory over 100 hours a week. Overtime varies from department to department, but during the peak season 13 to 15 hour shifts are required, from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00, 10:00, or 11:00 p.m. With an hour off both for lunch and supper, the actual workday is 11 to 13 hours.

Peak Season Hours

  • 8:00 a.m. to noon (work/4 hours)
  • Noon to 1:00 p.m. (lunch/1 hour)
  • 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (work/4 hours)
  • 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (supper/1 hour)
  • 6:00 p.m. to 9:00, 10:00 or 11:00 p.m. (overtime work/3, 4 or 5 hours)

 

A grueling shift:

In March 2005, one woman reported working from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., seven days a week, without a single day off. She was at the factory 105.2 hours a week, while actually working 91.2 hours. On average then she was required to work 13 hours a day. For the entire 91.2 hours of work she earned just $31.67 for the week.

China's labor law establishes a regular workweek of 40 hours, eights hours a day Monday through Friday, with Saturday and Sunday off. By law, all overtime work must be voluntary and should not exceed three hours a day, nine hours a week and 36 hours a month. However in this case, the woman was forced to work over 51 hours of overtime a week, exceeding the legal limit by an astonishing 569 percent.

One manager told another worker that 240 to 300 hours of overtime a month were "obligatory" and that the workers should not ask to be paid for their overtime hours. This must have been more of a threat and exaggeration than reality, as this would have the workers toiling 97 to 111 hours a week, which would be physically impossible.

In past years, the overtime hours required were even longer. In 2003, some shifts stretched 17 to 18 hours a day, from 8:00 a.m. through to 1:00 or 2:00 a.m. Other workers reported being forced to work grueling 30-hour shifts from 8:00 a.m. straight through to 2:00 p.m. the following day. If the workers were lucky, they would receive the following day off. If not, they had to report back for their regular shift the following day, only they could begin at 10:00 rather than at 8:00 a.m.

Management also demands that workers arrive at their workstations 15 minutes early each day, at 7:45 a.m. Anyone arriving after 8:00 a.m. will be fined a half hour's wage for every minute they are late.

Wages:

Currently Nord Race is paying a flat rate of $2.69 yuan per hour, or 33 cents, regardless whether or not these are regular or overtime hours. (There are 8.1002 yuan to the U.S. dollar.) In broad daylight Nord Race is violating China's wage laws, which require all overtime Monday through Friday to be paid at a 50 percent premium, while weekend work must be paid as double time.

Further, the legal minimum wage in Dongguan as of March 2005 is 3.42 yuan per hour, or 42 cents. Nord Race's 33-cent-an-hour wage falls 21 percent below the legal minimum wage.

Wage at Nord Race Factory
Factory Legal Minimum Wage in
Dongguan, China

(452 yuan a month)

(574 yuan a month)

 

 

  • 33 cents per hour (.333)
  • 42 cents an hour (.4218)
  • $2.16 a day (8 hours)
  • $3.37 a day (8 hours)
  • $13.28 a week (40 hours)
  • $16.87 a week (40 hours)
  • $55.79 a month
  • $70.86 a month

 

If we return to the example of the woman who worked 91.2 hours a week in March, we saw she was paid a flat rate of just 2.86 yuan an hour, or 35 cents, with no distinction made between regular or overtime hours. (This woman worked in an extremely hot area of the factory and was given a 30 yuan bonus each month, or $3.70, hence her slightly higher hourly wage.) This woman earned just $31.67 a week for the entire 91.2 hours she worked. This woman should have earned, at a minimum, $44.78 for the week, and $53.55 if the March minimum wage increase was included. This means she was shortchanged of up to 41 percent of the wages legally due her.

The Legal Pay This Woman Should Have Received:                                                                                                         

At 2.86 yuan per hour, or 35 cents

  • 40 regular hours x 2.86 = 114.4 yuan
  • 25 weekday overtime hours at 1.5 x 2.86 = 4.29; 4.29 x 25 = 107.25 yuan
  • 26 weekend overtime hours at 2 x 2.86 = 5.72; 5.72 x 26 = 148.72 yuan

At the new legal minimum wage of 3.42 yuan per hour, 42 cents 

  • 40 regular hours x 4.32 = 136.80 yuan
  • 25 weekday overtime hours at 1.5 x 4.32 = 5.13; 5.13 x 25 = 128.25 yuan
  • 26 weekend overtime hours at 2 x 4.32 = 6.84; 6.84 x 26 = 177.84 yuan
 

TOTAL: 370.37 yuan ($44.78)

 

TOTAL: 442.89 yuan ($53.55)

 

During the slow season, when the overtime demands are not that great, the Nord Race workers report earning an average 650 yuan a month, or $18.71 a week. In the peak season, when grueling overtime hours are demanded, on average the workers can earn 850 yuan per month, or $24.47 per week.


As low as these wages may seem, mandatory deductions for dorm and food expenses cut the workers' take-home pay by another 20 to 27 percent, dropping the average take-home wage to just $13.67 a week in the slow season and to $19.55 in the peak production period.

Recent Wage Increases in China Might Be More an Illusion Than a Reality.

A lot has been said in the U.S. media and by corporations regarding recent wage increases in export assembly factories, like Nord Race, across the south of China. And in Dongguan City the legal minimum wage was increased in March 2005 from 450 yuan per month, or $55.55, or 574 yuan, or $70.86 per month. Nominally this represented a nearly 28 percent wage increase.

But the Nord Race factories did not increase the minimum wage in March, telling the workers they needed at least until August to do so. This will be a six month delay. In the meantime, factory management is speeding up production lines and increasing the mandatory daily production goals by approximately 30 percent. In the gluing department, workers now have to complete 240 notebooks per hour while those working the hole press have to complete 520 notebooks an hour. In the future, when the wage increase is actually implemented, workers failing to meet their assigned production goal will have to remain working overtime—without pay—until they do so. Further, in May and June, Nord Race management set out on a firing spree, attempting to lay off at least 200 workers. Management's strategy was clear. By speeding up production lines while laying off up to 30 percent of its workers, 500 workers could be expected to produce what 700 did in the past. There might be a nominal wage increase, but fewer remaining workers would now have to work faster, harder and longer hours—sometimes without pay—to produce the same amount of notebooks as was produced in the past. So the wage increase was really a wash. Nord Race would keep its labor costs the exact same through mass layoffs and speed-ups. Despite the speed-ups, management kept up the policy of fining workers for perceived sub-quality work.

Management also used the layoffs to target workers who appeared too outspoken and knowledgeable about their legal rights.

Eight people to a small room and "horrible food."

At the Nord Race Industrial Park, eight workers share each small dorm room, measuring approximately 10 feet by 15 feet. Each room has two fans. Public bathrooms and showers are located at the ends of each floor.

Food at the factory canteen is described by the workers as "horrible" and of very poor quality.

Each month the factory deducts 150 yuan, or $18.52 for food costs and 35 yuan, or $4.32 for dorm expenses, which includes a 10 yuan management and security fee. The combined 185 yuan monthly deductions ($22.84) might seem almost insignificant, but these deductions actually lower the workers' take-home pay by 20 to 27 percent.

A Real Subsistence Level Wage in Dongguan City Would Be Approximately $2.00 an Hour.

There is a certain crude and misleading callousness in how Disney, Wal-Mart and the other multinationals tout the modest recent wage increases in China's export assembly factories as proof that the system is working, arguing that not only wages but working and living conditions are improving for China's factory workers. Workers assembling Disney goods at the Nord Race factories are surviving and may even be sending some money home to their families in the countryside, but it is not because of the 33-cent-an-hour wages they are earning. Rather it is because of the grueling 10-to-13-hour shifts they work, often seven days a week, and the primitive dorm conditions in which they live, with eight workers sharing each small room, and the miserable food they eat. It is only because of the workers' hard work and great sacrifice that they can survive and send money home.

For workers in Dongguan making Disney products, to live with a modicum of decency they would need to earn approximately $2.02 an hour. That is the estimate of respected independent NGO's in Hong Kong.

For a family of three—two parents and a young child—to climb out of misery and at least into a lower middle class existence would cost about 2,750 yuan, or $339.50 a month. This would cover rent for a small two-room flat, food clothing, school, transportation, and basic medical care. This would require an hourly wage of $2.02 an hour, and $80.87 per week. It is not an enormous amount of money. Even if both parents worked side by side in the same factory making Disney goods, they would have to each earn at least $1.01 an hour in order to survive with some basic decency. Even using this calculation of both parents working and combining  nntheir incomes, their hourly wage—even after the March 2005 increase—of 42 cents an hour would still fall nearly 60 percent short of providing a decent level of subsistence.

Other violations at Nord Race

In the gluing department, some workers report that the sickening stench of glue fumes is almost impossible to bear. Still, the factory does not provide any protective equipment such as masks.

Minor injuries requiring simple bandaging are handled in the factory clinic. Workers
suffering more serious occupational injuries such as crushed or broken fingers are sent to the hospital. Workers report some instances when injured workers were forced to pay their own hospital expenses (though this must be rare, as a hospital in Dongguan can cost 500 yuan per day, or $61.73 which is nearly a full month's wage, for lodging, food and medical care.) While workers are hospitalized, the Nord Race factories continue to pay them their daily minimum wage.

All of this is illegal. By law, factory management is required to purchase health
insurance for their workers, which they do not. By law the factory is required to pay all hospital expenses related to work injuries, including lodging, food and medical care. By law workers injured on the job are to receive their full wage and not just the minimum wage which Nord Race pays.

Management also keeps two sets of time cards, wage slips and labor contracts, and the doctored ones go to the naïve Disney auditors. It is for this reason that the Nord Race factory does not provide wage slips to the workers, which is illegal, but convenient for management. This way the workers cannot inadvertently show the monitors documentation of the real wages they receive, which are below the legal minimum wage. The doctored time cards will show no more than 36 hours of overtime worked per month.

Workers Fight Back:

At the end of May, as discussed earlier, Nord Race management suddenly began firing large groups of workers. Management was responding to the 28 percent increase in the legal minimum wage. They decided to control their labor costs by speeding up production while slashing over 200 jobs, approximately 30 percent of their workforce. In June, the mass firings continued. It also became clear that management was using the firings to target workers who they thought were too outspoken or active in defense of their rights. About 30 of the workers fired in June went to the local government labor bureau to denounce their firing. They did not get their jobs back but management had to at least pay 400 yuan, or $49.38 in compensation, which was still below the legal severance due them.

Still, their denunciation slowed down the mass firings. Management switched tactics and is now firing one worker at a time making it unlikely that there will be any future collective demands.

Over the years, groups of brave workers have approached management demanding that they be paid in full for all the overtime hours they are actually forced to work. Some workers have also gone to the local labor bureau to denounce the excessive mandatory overtime and Nord Race's failure to pay the legal overtime premium. In the end, the results were small. Only the workers who resigned were able to win some of the back overtime wages due them. Those who remained in the factory received nothing.

In October 2003, when the workers discovered that management was showing different labor contracts in order to mislead labor bureau inspectors, and not the limited temporary labor contracts the workers actually had to sign, they staged a protest. Company security guards then beat the workers and the leaders of the protest were fired.

Any worker needing to resign from the factory without giving a one month's notice will be docked one month's wage.

Management's exploitation and oppression of the workers is as strong as it has ever been.

 

Disney Books Made at Hung Hin

 


 

Survey of the NYC Disney Store

Merchandise by Country and Origin

The week of August 11, 2005 the National Labor Committee staff conducted a survey of Disney products for sale at the large Disney Store at Fifth Avenue and 55th Street in New York City.

We surveyed a total of 7,025 items with a retail value totaling $90,038.72 including: 715 Books, Notebooks, School & Art Supplies; 973 Costumes & Accessories; 1,910 Clothing, Bags, Pillows & Other Soft Goods; 1,018 Dishware, Trinkets, Gifts & Toys; and 2,409 Stuffed Animals.

Of the total only 181 (2.5%) were made in the U.S.A.

Of the total 5,112 (73%) with a retail value of $63,766.32 (71%) were made in China.

Items # Counted Total / % Total # Counted China / % China Retail Value Retail Value China
Books, Notebooks, School & Art Supplies 715 / 10% 398 / 56% $7,605.92 $4,087.92
Costumes & Accessories 973 / 14% 575 / 59% $13,177.00 $12,874.40
Clothing, Bags, Pillows & Other Soft Goods 1,910 / 27% 1,066 / 56% $42,599.80 $23,473.00
Dishware, Trinkets, Gifts & Toys 1,018 / 15% 693 / 68% $12,318.00 $9,739.00
Stuffed Animals 2,409 / 34% 2,380 / 99% $14,338.00 $13,592.00
Total 7,015 / 100% 5,112 / 73% $90,038.72 $63,766.32

Disney Store, NYC: 55th and 5th Avenue

August 4, 2005

***RESULTS: 2,380 out of 2,409 items counted MADE IN CHINA, Totaling $13,592.00 out of $14,338.00.  

STUFFED ANIMALS:

Number

Item/Description

Price

Country

7

Animal

$ 12.00

China

6

Ariel

$ 13.00

China

254

Assorted plush characters

$ 13.00

China

1

Baby Pegasus

$ 13.00

China

Ballerina Minnie Mouse

$ 25.00

China

10

Beaker

$ 12.00

China

2

Bear in the Big Blue House

$  22.00

China

2

Bear in the Big Blue House

$ 40.00

China

10

Belle

$ 13.00

China

2

Birthday Pooh

$ 25.00

China

24

Bruce

$ 16.00

China

45

Bruce

$ 13.00

China

18

Bunny

$ 13.00

China

10

Buzz Lightyear

$ 13.00

China

8

Cheerleader Minnie Mouse

$ 25.00

China

25

Cinderella

$ 13.00

China

9

Croaky

$ 8.00

China

40

Crush

$ 13.00

China

12

Daisy Ducks

$ 20.00

China

115

Disney Bears

$ 20.00

China

12

Disney Land Resort Baby

$ 13.00

China

12

Donald Ducks

$ 20.00

China

8

Dopey

$ 13.00

China

8

Dory

$ 13.00

China

9

Dr. Pooh

$ 9.00

China

4

Dumbo

$ 18.00

China

3

Eeyore

$ 100.00

China

3

Eeyore

$ 50.00

China

5

Eeyore

$ 25.00

China

3

Eeyore

$ 20.00

China

2

Eeyore

$ 18.00

China

9

Fashion Minnie

$ 13.00

China

39

Fireman Donald Duck

$  18.00

China

65

Fireman Donald Duck

$   8.00

China

36

Flounder

$ 13.00

China

16

Fozzie

$ 12.00

China

53

Gil

$ 13.00

China

7

Goliath

$ 10.00

China

15

Gonzo

$ 12.00

China

8

Goofey

$ 25.00

China

9

Goofey

$ 20.00

China

6

Grumpy

$ 13.00

China

12

Jack

$ 8.00

China

32

Jasmine

$ 13.00

China

25

JoJo Circus

$ 10.00

China

7

JoJo Circus

$ 18.00

China

4

Kermit

$ 20.00

China

6

Kermit

$ 12.00

China

10

Lilo

$ 13.00

China

8

Lilo & Stitch mitts

$ 16.00

China

35

Marfin

$ 13.00

China

6

Mickey Mouse

$ 20.00

China

8

Mickey Mouse

$ 50.00

China

20

Mickey Mouse

$  20.00

China

10

Mickey Mouse Grooms

$ 25.00

China

7

Mickey Mouse packaged mitts

$ 16.00

China

1

Mickey Mouse Wizard

$ 60.00

China

3

Mickey Mouse Wizard

$ 25.00

China

8

Mickey Mouse Wizard

$ 13.00

China

25

Mickey Mouse-b&w

$ 25.00

China

57

Mickey, Minnie, Eeyore, Pluto Pirates

$ 9.00

China

6

Mickey's House w/ Friends

$ 22.00

China

1

Minnie Mouse

$ 20.00

China

4

Minnie Mouse

$ 100.00

China

4

Minnie Mouse

$ 50.00

China

10

Minnie Mouse

$ 20.00

China

8

Minnie Bride

$ 30.00

China

2

Minnie Hippies

$ 25.00

China

6

Miss Piggy

$ 20.00

China

12

Miss Piggy

$ 12.00

China

11

Monster's Inc.

$ 13.00

China

2

Monster's Inc.

$ 18.00

China

6

Ms. Kerspatski

$ 10.00

China

6

Mulan

$ 13.00

China

6

Nala

$ 18.00

China

35

Nemo

$ 18.00

China

45

Nemo

$ 13.00

China

7

Nurse Eeyore

$ 9.00

China

12

Nurse Minnie

$ 9.00

China

21

NYC Cabbies

$ 8.00

China

9

NYC Cabbies

$ 18.00

China

13

NYC Cabbies

$ 25.00

China

11

NYC World of Disney Bears

$ 18.00

China

115

NYC World of Disney Mickey & Minnie

$ 8.00

China

8

Ojo

$ 26.00

China

8

Peaches

$ 8.00

China

14

Piglet

$ 18.00

China

20

Pluto

$ 20.00

China

36

Policeman Mickey

$ 18.00

China

45

Policeman Mickey

$ 8.00

China

2

Pooh

$ 100.00

China

14

Pooh

$ 50.00

China

8

Pooh

$ 20.00

China

15

Princess Minnie Mouse

$ 8.00

China

4

Princess Minnie Mouse

$ 25.00

China

3

Pumba

$ 26.00

China

10

Sally

$ 8.00

China

10

Simba

$ 18.00

China

1

Sleepy Pooh

$ 25.00

China

8

Snow White

$ 13.00

China

26

Squirt

$ 13.00

China

31

Statue of Liberty Minnie

$ 18.00

China

49

Statue of Liberty Minnie

$ 8.00

China

4

Stitch

$ 18.00

China

4

Stitch

$ 50.00

China

15

Stitch Elvis

$ 13.00

China

10

Stitch Hula

$ 13.00

China

6

Swedish Chef

$ 12.00

China

8

Tater

$ 8.00

China 

14

Thumper

$ 13.00

China

5

Thumper

$ 18.00

China

7

Tickles

$ 8.00

China

7

Tigger

$ 100.00

China

6

Tigger

$ 50.00

China

1

Tigger

$ 25.00

China

8

Tigger

$ 18.00

China

14

Timon

$ 18.00

China

26

Tinkerbell

$ 13.00

China 

9

Trina

$ 10.00

China

13

USA Minnie

$ 9.00

China

12

Woody

$ 13.00

China

3

Minnie Bride

$ 11.00

China

9

Stitch

$ 13.00

China

2

Goofey

$ 25.00

Vietnam

Goofey

$ 20.00

Vietnam

12

Mickey Mouse

$ 25.00

Vietnam

2

Minnie Mouse

$ 20.00

Vietnam

8

Minnie Mouse

$ 32.00

Vietnam

 

August 1, 2005

***RESULTS: 398 out of 715 items counted MADE IN CHINA, Totaling $4,087.92 out of $7,605.92.

BOOKS, NOTEBOOKS, SCHOOL & ART SUPPLIES:

Number

Item/Description

Price

Country

20

Dragon Silhouette of Mickey spiral notebook

$ 6.00

Sri Lanka

20

Finding Nemo Colored Pencil, Marker, Sharpener & Note Pad set

$ 18.00

Sri Lanka

15

Princesses Activity book with markers

$ 6.00

China

10

Female Disney Characters Cover coloring book

$ 4.50

China

3

Winnie the Pooh and Friends coloring book

$ 4.50

China

60

Finding Nemo Activity set with stickers & markers

$ 8.00

China

30

Mickey Mouse and Friends coloring books & markers

$ 12.98

China

7

Winnie the Pooh stencil kits with markers

$ 12.00

China

16

Winnie the Pooh Activity set with stickers & markers

$ 8.00

China

20

Princesses stencil set with markers, stencils, sketch pad

$ 12.00

China

5

How to Draw Princesses set with stamps, markers & stickers

$ 14.95

China

10

Mickey Mouse and Friends sticker roll pack

$ 6.50

China

10

Girlfriends with Minnie and Daisy sticker roll pack

$ 6.50

China

10

Tinkerbell sticker roll pack

$ 6.50

China

10

Pooh and Friends sticker roll pack

$ 6.50

China

10

Disney Villains sticker roll pack

$ 6.50

China

10

Four Parks One World sticker roll pack

$ 6.50

China

5

Sketch and Reflections book with pencils, crayons, watercolor paint

$ 12.00

China

15

Lilo and Stitch Learn to Draw with markers, pencil & sketch pad

$ 12.95

China

22

Sparkle Tinkerbell Note pad book with Velcro heart clasp

$ 7.00

China

20

Minnie note pad book with Velcro clasp

$ 7.00

China

15

Fantasia Mickey note pad book with Velcro heart clasp

$ 7.00

China

17

Hardcover Mickey note pad book with soft Mickey patch cover

$ 10.00

China

10

Magic Kingdom Castle Address Book

$ 12.00

China

12

Green Beaded Tinkerbell hardcover note book

$ 12.00

China

30

Autograph book with Tourist Disney character on the cover

$ 6.95

China

4

My First 1,000 Words book

$ 14.99

China

2

Finding Nemo 3D Adventure with pop-up viewer

$ 14.99

China

2

Pretty Puzzles and Sweet Stories, 7 24-piece jigsaw puzzles

$ 17.99

China

30

Cinderella's Photos and Autographs

$ 30.00

China

20

Winnie the Pooh Colored Pencil, Marker, Sharpener & Note Pad set

$ 18.00

None

24

Jessica Rabbit Telephone Address book

$ 10.00

None

120

 Mickey subway spiral blank notebooks

$ 10.00

None

16

Mickey post-its

$ 8.00

Taiwan

60

Mickey subway eighteen sheets writing paper and envelopes

$ 8.00

USA

15

Mickey subway photo album

$ 10.00

USA

40

Purple Tinkerbell diary with plastic lock

$ 8.00

Belgium

10

Vinyl Pencil & Pad set

 $16.00

China

 

August 1, 2005

***RESULTS: 1,066 out of 1,910 items counted MADE IN CHINA, Totaling $23,473.00 out of $42,599.80.

CLOTHING, BAGS, PILLOWS AND OTHER SOFT GOODS:

Number Item/Description Price Country
32 Princesses Outfits Pants & Tank $ 28.00 Honduras
20 Princesses Dresses $ 28.00 Honduras
20 Pant & Tank Sleepwear $ 28.00 Honduras
20 Pant & Tank Sleepwear (Little Mermaid) $ 28.00 Honduras
30 T-Shirts (Jasmine, Tinkerbell, etc.) $ 20.00 Mexico
13 Youth Tan Skirt $ 20.00 Brazil
22 Boys Dark Blue Cargo Pants $ 30.00 China
12 Tank Top Black and White Photo Dog with Mickey Cap $ 29.00 China
25 T-Shirt Black and White Photo Dog with Mickey Cap $ 26.00 China
30 T-Shirt Black and White Photo NYC Donald Billboard $ 29.00 China
42 NYC White and Red Youth Tank Top $ 22.00 China
45 NYC Blue and Dark Blue Youth Tank Top $ 22.00 China
16 Minnie Statue of Liberty Tank Top - Pink $ 22.00 China
16 Minnie Statue of Liberty Tank Top - Red $ 22.00 China
15 Denim Pet Visor - Small $ 7.00 China
15 Demin Pet Visor - Medium $ 7.00 China
12 Birthday Cake Pet Hat $ 8.00 China
30 Pack of 6 Dog Holiday Bandannas $ 18.00 China
24 Disney Tall Cat Treats $ 9.00 China
30 Plastic Cat Food Dish $ 8.00 China
110 Blue Baby Onesey $ 16.00 China
100 Red Baby Onesey $ 16.00 China
9 NYC Mickey Bowling Purse $ 18.00 China
9 NYC World of Disney Black Tote Bag $ 18.00 China
12 5th Avenue Mini Football $ 14.00 China
20 Kids NY Baseball Jersey - Red/White/Blue $ 36.00 China
20 Kids NY Baseball Jersey - White/Blue $ 36.00 China
20 Adult NY Baseball Jersey - Red/White/Blue $ 36.00 China
20 Adult NY Baseball Jersey - White/Blue $ 36.00 China
41 Denim NYC Mickey Cap - Blue $ 16.00 China
11 Denim NYC Mickey Cap - Tan $ 16.00 China
8 NYC Cop Mickey Youth School Backpack $ 18.00 China
6 Squishy Pillow - NYC Pink Heart $ 20.00 China
7 Princesses Baseball Caps $ 16.00 China
22 Princesses Visors $ 14.00 China
25 Mermaids Sunhats $ 16.00 China
2 Princesses Baseball Caps $ 16.00 China
4 Incredibles Pencil & Pad Set $ 16.00 China
20 Minnie "Kiss It Goodbye" Baseball Caps $ 16.00 China
20 Minnie "Simply Adorable" Blue Baseball Caps $ 16.00 China
18 Babies' T-Shirts $ 20.00 China
25 Shorts $ 18.00 China
16 Cotton Stretch Pants $ 20.00 China
12 Tank Tops $ 18.00 China
80 Princesses Terry Cloth Robes $ 24.00 China
6 Princesses Ponchos Terry Cloth $ 18.00 China
10 Minnie Mouse Terry Cloth Ponchos $ 24.00 China
20 Buzz Lightyear Vinyl Suitcases $ 36.00 China
4 Minnie Suitcases $ 36.00 China
8 Princesses Club Suitcases $ 36.00 China
12 Princesses Sleeping Bags $ 40.00 China
5 Pajama Pillows (Heart-Shaped) $ 15.00 China
10 Princesses Pillows $ 18.00 China 
20 Pajama Pillows (Various Characters) $ 24.00 China
9 NYC World of Disney Bag $ 24.00 El Salvador
5 Bikini Briefs (3 Pack) $ 12.00 Hong Kong
40 Bikini Briefs (7 Pack) $ 22.00 Hong Kong
5 Minnie Suncaps

$ 18.00

Indonesia
7 Squishy Pillow - NYC Orange Star $ 20.00 Malaysia
4 Squishy Pillow - NYC Black Neck $ 20.00 Malaysia
27 NYC Sparkly Coin Purse $ 24.00 Malaysia
120 Patriotic Mickey T-Shirt $ 11.99 Malaysia
16 Princesses T-Shirts with Tan Trim $ 22.00 Phillippines 
30 Princesses Skirts with Tan Trim $ 22.00 Phillippines
10 Minnie Cheerleader Shorts $ 18.00   Phillippines
5 Long Sleeve Mickey Mouse T-Shirt $ 24.00 Sri Lanka
22 Wrap Around Mickey T-Shirts $ 22.00 Sri Lanka
8 Mickey Blue Jeans with Knit Waistband $ 30.00 Sri Lanka
12 Khaki Shorts with Belt (NYC World of Disney) $ 20.00 Sri Lanka
5 Girls Rule Sunhats ? Taiwan
36 Boys Reversible T-Shirt "NYC 2005 American Classic" - Blue/Gray $ 24.00 USA
22 Boys Reversible T-Shirt "NYC 05 American Classic" - Gray $ 19.00 USA
210 Beach Towels $ 20.00 Brazil
64 Hawaiin Shirts (Dark Blue) $ 42.00 Vietnam
16 Hawaiin Shirts (Dark Light with Disney Characters) $ 44.00 Vietnam
16 Boys Shirts (Character) $ 28.00 Vietnam
10 Khaki Shorts (Small Boys) $ 22.00 Vietnam
10 Minnie Pajama Pillows $ 32.00 Vietnam

 

August 13, 2005

***RESULTS: 575 out of 973 items MADE IN CHINA, Totaling $12,874.40 out of $13,177.00. 

COSTUMES & ACCESSORIES:

Number Item/Description Price Country
12 Peter Pan Costumes $ 45.00 China
20 Mickey Pirate Head Scarces with Mickey & Goofy Ears $ 12.95 China
6 Pirate Eye Patch & Earring Sets $ 2.00 China
8 Pirate Costumes $ 45.00 China
12 Captain Hook Hooks $ 2.50 China
32 Pirate Daggers $ 2.50 China
22 Little Mermaid Costume Nightgowns $ 28.00 China
20 Costume Nightgowns (Cinderella) $ 28.00 China
6 Costume Nightgowns (Sleeping Beauty) $ 28.00 China
14 Costume Nightgowns (Sleeping Beauty) $ 28.00 China
20 Costume Nightgowns (Tinkerbell) - Short $ 28.00 China
16 Costume Nightgowns (Tinkerbell) - Long $ 28.00 China
6 Cinderellabration (Deluxe Cinderella) $ 95.00 China
10 Cinderella Cape $ 38.00 China
8 Cinderella Costume $ 60.00 China
10 Cinderella Silver Shoes $ 28.00 China
8 Cinderella Clear Blue Slippers $ 18.00 China
4 Cinderella Wigs $ 11.00 China
6 Cinderella Crowns $ 15.00 China
7 Belle Costume Gowns $ 85.00 China
12 Belle Cloaks  $20.00 China
20 Belle Costume Sets  $24.00 China
20 Belle Crowns $ 15.00 China
25 Power Rangers Vinyl Costumes (Red) $ 40.00 China
27 Power Rangers Vinyl Costumes (White) $ 40.00 China
10 Vinyl Power Rangers Costumes $ 40.00 China
9 Power Rangers Electronic Gloves Sets ?  
10 Slippers - Snow White $ 15.00  
60 Minnie Strappie Shoes  $ 24.00   
6 Tinkerbell Slippers $ 18.00 China
10 Tinkerbell Wigs $ 11.00 China
2 Tinkerbell "Barbie Style" Dolls $ 23.00 China
3 Snow White Wigs $ 11.00 China
7 Snow White Slippers $ 18.00 China
10 Tinkerbell Costume Collection Accessories $ 24.00 China
3 Snow White Wigs $ 11.00 China
3 Sleeping Beauty Slippers $ 28.00 China
3 Sleeping Beauty Headbands $ 15.00 China
13 Belle Slippers (Red) $ 28.00 China
4 Belle Sandals (Yellow) $ 18.00 China
12 Belle Costume Sets $ 24.00 China
6 Belle Compact Display Case $ 10.00 China
18 Ariel Bride Costume Sets $ 24.00 China
7 Ariel Bride Sandals $ 28.00 China
5 Ariel Bride "Barbie" Style Dolls $ 23.00 China
8 Cinderella Costume Collection $ 24.00 China
5 Cinderella Slippers

$ 18.00

China
8 Cinderella Costume Sets $ 24.00 China
6 Cinderella Wigs $ 11.00 China
4 Cinderella Gowns (Silver) $ 95.00 China
16 Belle Slippers (Yellow) $ 18.00 Columbia
18 Belle Slippers (Red) $ 18.00 Columbia
10 Belle Wigs $ 11.00 Columbia
12 Jasmine Costumes $ 55.00  Columbia
10 Deluxe Ariel Bride Costume Gowns $60.00 Columbia
8 Sleeping Beauty $ 60.00 Columbia
20 Tinkerbell Costumes $ 60.00 Columbia
18 Jasmine Slippers $ 18.00 Columbia
6 Tinkerbell Gowns $ 85.00 Columbia
6 Snow White Costume Gowns $ 60.00 Columbia
6 Deluxe Sleeping Beauty Costume Gowns $ 85.00 Columbia
7 Deluxe Belle (Beauty & the Beast) $ 85.00 Columbia
2 Ariel Bride Costume Gowns

$ 60.00

Columbia
8 Cinderella Costume Gowns $ 60.00 Columbia
12 Jasmine Costume Sets $ 24.00 Honduras
9 Jasmine Crowns $ 15.00 Honduras
26 Ariel Bride Slippers $ 28.00 Honduras (assembled)
2 Ariel Bride Costume Sets $ 24.00 Honduras (assembled)
30 Snow White Slippers $ 18.00 Honduras (assembled)
10 Snow White Costume Sets $ 24.00 Honduras (assembled)
40 Tinkerbell Slippers $ 18.00 Honduras (assembled)
15 Tinkerbell Costume Sets $ 24.00 Honduras (assembled)
6 Deluxe Sleeping Beauty Gowns $ 85.00 Macau
8 Belle Cosmetic Play Case in Shape of Castle $ 12.00 None
30 Princesses Hair Ties (2 per Unit) $ 6.00 None
6 Minnie Dresses $ 45.00 Sri Lanka
12 Minnie Dresses (Small Size) $ 40.00 Sri Lanka
24 Sleeping Beauty Slippers $ 28.00 Sri Lanka
6 Sleeping Beauty Crowns $ 15.00 Taiwan
Sleeping Beauty Costume Sets $ 24.00 Taiwan
18 Princesses Change Purses (Vinyl, Various Princesses) $ 10.00 Taiwan
30 Mickey Ears with Skull Cap $ 7.50 Thailand
20 Mickey ears with Skull Cap (Pink) $ 7.50 Thailand
28 Princesses Pocket Books $ 14.50 USA
20 Lip Gloss CD Case $ 12.50 USA

 

August 2, 2005

***RESULTS: 693 out of 1,018 items counted MADE IN CHINA, Totaling $9,739.00 out of $12,318.00.

DISHWARE, TRINKETS, GIFTS & TOYS

Number Item/Description  Price Country
75 Disney Characters Beverage Charms and Coasters $ 14.00 China
43 Mickey Wine Bottle Stoppers $ 10.00 China
5 Fantasia Mickey Wine Bottle Stoppers $ 10.00 China
4 Mickey Bottle Top Openers $ 8.00 China
8 NYC Minnie, Mickey, Donald and Goofy Mugs $ 6.00 China
14 Silver Mickey World of Disney Coffee Cups $ 22.00 China
10 Mickey Plastic Coffee To-Go Cup $ 15.00 China
12 Minnie Plastic Coffee To-Go Cup $ 15.00 China
11 Donald Plastic Coffee To-Go Cup $ 15.00 China
12 Goofy Plastic Coffee To-Go Cup $ 15.00 China
25 Walt Disney World Plastic Coffee To-Go Cup $ 15.00 China
4 Villains Caldron Ceramic Cookie Jar $ 28.00 China
5 Lilo Ceramic Cookie Jar $ 28.00 China
6 Tinkerbell Ceramic Cookie Jar $ 28.00 China
13 Goofy Turkey Leg Squeak Dog Toy $ 6.00 China
5 Mickey's Hand and Pants Squeak Dog Toy $ 6.00 China
6 Newspaper Squeak Dog Toy $ 6.00 China
6 Mickey Blow Bubbles Sparkles Cup $ 8.00 China
10 Tinkerbell Blow Bubbles Sparkles Cup $ 8.00 China
35 Buzz Lightyear Glitter Cups $ 3.00 China
17 Mickey Glitter Cups $ 3.00 China
17 Minnie Glitter Cups $ 3.00 China
10 Winnie the Pooh Relief Plastic Mug $ 7.00 China
14 Tigger Relief Plastic Mug $ 7.00 China
24 Mickey Relief Plastic Mug $ 7.00 China
24 Minnie Relief Plastic Mug $ 7.00 China
24 Buzz Lightyear Relief Plastic Mug $ 7.00 China
10 Buzz Lightyear Baby Sippy Cup with Sparkles $ 7.00 China
10 Winnie the Pooh Baby Sippy Cup with Sparkles $ 7.00 China
10 Princesses Baby Sippy Cup with Sparkles $ 7.00 China
10 Mickey Baby Sippy Cup with Sparkles $ 7.00 China
18 Buzz Lightyear Plastic Sparkle To-Go Cup
with Straw and Strap
$ 11.00 China
18 Mickey Plastic Sparkle To-Go Cup
with Straw and Strap
$ 11.00 China
18 Minnie Plastic Sparkle To-Go Cup
with Straw and Strap
$ 11.00 China
25 Minnie Mouse Cheerleader Dolls $ 25.00 China
 

Princess Barbie-Type Dolls
(in Cinderella, Snow White, Belle, Jasmine,
Tinkerbell, Ariel, Sleeping Beauty)

$ 22.00 China
60 Couples Dolls: Cinderella $ Her Prince, Etc. $ 37.00 China
18 Power Rangers Deltamax Striker (Gun) $ 18.00 China
18 Power Rangers Action Figures $ 14.00 China
16 Power Rangers Action Figures
"Megabattlized" with Access
$ 25.00 China
7 Snow White "Barbie" Style Dolls $ 23.00 China
6 Cinderella "Barbie" Dolls $ 22.00 China
40 Mickey Really Swell Coffee Thermos $ 20.00 None
21 Mickey Silhouette Martini Shakers $ 20.00 None
39 NYC Glass Bowls with Mickey Feet $ 14.00 None
6 4 Pack Mickey Shot Glasses $ 16.00 None
11 Grumpy Coffee To-Go Cup $ 13.00 Taiwan
11 Tinkerbell Coffee To-Go Cup $ 13.00 Taiwan
9 Mickey Coffee To-Go Cup $ 13.00 Taiwan
8 Tigger Coffee To-Go Cup $ 13.00 Taiwan
20 Mickey's Really Swell Coffee Mug - Blue $ 12.00 Thailand
20 Minnie's Really Swell Coffee Mug - Green $ 12.00 Thailand
20 Goofy's Really Swell Coffee Mug - Brown $ 12.00 Thailand
20 Donald Really Swell Coffee Mug - Tan $ 12.00 Thailand
30 NYC World of Disney Mugs - Red $ 10.00 Thailand
11 Mickey Mug $ 10.00 Thailand
11 Minnie Mug $ 10.00 Thailand
11 Goofy Mug $ 10.00 Thailand
9 Tinkerbell Mug $ 10.00 Thailand
13 Magical Morning Tinkerbell Giant Coffee Mug $ 14.00 Thailand
15 Mornings Aren't Pretty Giant Coffee Mug $ 14.00 Thailand

  

 


 

 

Mr. Robert Iger, Chairman
The Walt Disney Company
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521
Fax:  818.560.1930

Dear Mr. Iger:

I write you on a very urgent matter.  Disney's children's books are being manufactured in China by young workers who are suffering excessively high rates of work-related injuries, including crushed and broken fingers, lacerated hands and even several deaths.  Disturbingly, this is the case at Hung Hing and other factories Disney is using in China.  These serious work-related accidents and injuries are largely the result of improper safety equipment and training, but also are due to excessively high production goals and to the exhausting 10-to-13-hour daily shifts, six and seven days a week, resulting in grueling 60 to 70 to even 90-hour work weeks.

Thousands of workers making Disney's children's books are earning wages as low as 33 to 35 cents an hour, which is well below even China's legal minimum wage—which itself does not come close to meeting minimal subsistence needs.  Workers are forced to work overtime—even up to 50 hours a week—but are then shortchanged of the legal overtime pay that is due them.  Workers report fainting from exhaustion and the unbearable, stifling heat in the factories.  Supervisors curse at the workers, shouting that they are stupid like pigs and that their brains are full of water.  In some factories women are, in practice, denied their maternity rights.  Some dormitories lack even hot water and showers, and instead workers are allocated two buckets of water a day to bathe with.  Everyone complains that the food in the factory canteens is sub-standard and tastes awful.  Workers making Disney goods in China are illegally denied both health and retirement insurance.  And, of course, the workers' rights to freedom of association and to organize an independent union are completely denied.

As a huge corporation which markets its products to and is involved in the lives of children all over the world, Disney is responsible to hold itself to a higher standard, guaranteeing that the rights of any worker anywhere in the world making Disney goods will be respected.

I urge Disney to take two concrete and very easily doable steps which will immediately improve respect for human and women's rights in Disney's contractors' plants in China.

1.) Disney should disclose the names and addresses of the factories you use in China to make the goods we purchase.  This is not difficult to do, and Nike, Reebok and hundreds of universities across the U.S. have already done this.  Disclosing factory names and locations would be a good-faith effort [indication] on Disney's part that you are not trying to hide  sweatshop conditions, starvation wages and repression.

2.) Disney should open its contractors' plants to SACOM (Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior) and other well-respected independent human and women's rights, labor and religious non-governmental organizations.  More than anyone else, these people can help train the workers on their legal rights and how they, the workers themselves, can play the key role in factory monitoring.

As things stand now, the Disney Code of Conduct, in the eyes of thousands of Chinese workers, is just a meaningless piece of paper which is never implemented.  Disney's monitoring program is seriously flawed.  Disney audits these factories in China just one or perhaps two days a year.  The audits are announced in advance, giving ample time for factory managers to coach, instruct and threaten the workers to memorize and repeat prepared answers to any questions the auditors are likely to ask.  The workers are actually given "cheat sheets" to memorize, and those who respond with the proper answers receive a bonus.  On the other hand, it is also clearly known that anyone telling the truth about factory conditions will be immediately fired the minute Disney's auditors walk out the door.  In China, it is common practice for factories to keep two sets of time cards, two sets of wage records and labor contracts.  Of course, Disney's auditors receive only the doctored records.

Disney is a very large and powerful company known to children all over the world.  I urge Disney to now do the right thing:  to disclose the names and addresses of the plants you use to make the goods we buy, and to open your plants to SACOM and the other well-respected human rights organizations in Hong Kong so that genuine independent audits can finally be conducted.

Disney's magic kingdom should not be built on the backs of exploited and abused workers in China.

Please do the right thing.

Sincerely,