Toy Workers Still Suffering Widespread Abuses

Nov 24, 2015, 12:34 ET from China Labor Watch

NEW YORK, Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- China Labor Watch (CLW) has released a 123-page investigative report (PDF) of five toy factories in China, finding 29 sets of labor abuses, at least 21 of which violate Chinese law. The factories supply to Hasbro, Mattel and Mattel-owned Fisher Price, McDonald's, Jakks Pacific, Disney, NSI Toys, Battat, MGA Entertainment, and Walmart.

Based on investigative findings, CLW has also released the Sweatshop Toy List, which describes the factory working conditions under which various popular toys are made. In the run-up to the holiday season, CLW will continue to populate the Sweatshop Toy List with toys actually observed in investigated factories. The objective of the toy list is to inform the public about the way in which popular toys made by workers that suffer regular rights infringements.        

CLW emphasizes that the toy industry has been sourcing from Chinese factories for 20 years, during which time the industry has touted legal and fair treatment of workers. Yet in 2015, CLW continues to observe the failure among toy industry leaders to ensure some fundamental legal rights for workers, to say nothing of fair treatment.

The major toy brand and retail companies have the power to influence and control labor conditions in toy factories. They must institute fundamental reforms which include but are not limited to:

  • Reduce the use of temporary workers to less than 10% of total workforce;
  • Increase workers' base wages significantly above the local minimum wage so that workers are not dependent on long overtime hours;
  • Adjust production schedules to ensure that overtime work is strictly voluntary;
  • Ensure that resignation does not require "application" and that resigning workers receive all due wages;
  • Compensate workers for all activities that are a mandatory requirement or duty of a job (including group meetings, training, and required on-boarding procedures);
  • Provide workers with more spacious and hygienic housing;
  • Ensure workers receive pre-job that is 1) in accordance with legal requirements and 2) sufficient to educate them on all chemicals or procedures which could pose a risk to their short- and long-term health;
  • Remedy other legal violations mentioned in this report;
  • Let workers elect enterprise-level union representatives who can actually represent worker interests.
CONTACT: China Labor Watch, Kevin Slaten, Program Coordinator,, +001 212-244-4049
CONTACT: China Labor Watch, Kevin Slaten, Program Coordinator,, +001 212-244-4049

SOURCE China Labor Watch