NEW YORK, Oct. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Merton Plastics and Electronics Factory in Dongguan, China produces Disney, Mattel and McDonald's toys for sale around the world. A new report by China Labor Watch describes serious labor violations at the factory, including illegal wages and substandard living conditions.
CLW calls on international toy brands to respect their promises to workers and the families that purchase these toys by enforcing better conditions at Merton. "Many workers in this factory are barely older than the children who buy the toys abroad," states CLW Executive Director, Li Qiang. The report found that Merton hires workers as young as 16 and cooperates with local schools to arrange for student employment.
CLW's report outlines the following illegal conditions:
- Illegal wages: Merton operates on a 6 day/week system of 6 hours and 40 minutes per day. Saturdays in this system are mandatory and paid at half the legal Saturday overtime wage rate, or only $0.71/hour. Workers make only $206-$221/month with overtime, before deductions for room and board
- Excessive overtime: Working hours last 11.5 hours daily with overtime, and total monthly overtime is 60 hours, in excess of the legal limit.
- Vacation: Workers are illegally denied annual vacation for Spring Festival.
- Poor living conditions: Food in the canteen is poor. In the dormitories, beds are falling apart because bugs have destroyed the wooden boards workers sleep on, there is no hot water to shower or electrical outlets to charge phones, and workers are prohibited from airing out their bedding except on weekends.
CLW's report follows a decade of monitoring conditions at Merton. CLW issued its first report in 2000, when conditions were particularly poor and a number strikes erupted. In 2006, CLW conducted another follow-up investigation after a major strike involving nearly a thousand workers. The new report demonstrates that labor violations persist at the toy manufacturer in spite of major improvement. CLW urges brands to invest in remediation, and improve corporate audit systems that overlook serious labor violations.
To read the report, visit www.chinalaborwatch.org.
SOURCE China Labor Watch