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The Scoop: Inside a Chinese Toy Factory


World  (tags: sweatshops, Chinese labor, toys, unsafe conditions )

RC
- 4293 days ago - reuters.com
The group China Labor Watch reports on the conditions in a China facility where workers make the toys we buy. Eighty percent of the $22.3 billion worth of toys sold in the United States are made in China.



   

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Comments

RC deWinter (418)
Wednesday August 22, 2007, 5:27 am
Unhealthy, sweatshop-like conditions, underpaid workers, unsafe products - THESE are the places where our toys are made.
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday August 22, 2007, 5:42 am
Looks like a bunch of rats in a cage Cate that is horrible conditions and we buy from them 20% of our food ect.And they have a horrible human right record? We dont do that business with other countries We owe them to much money we are in to deep with the Chineese plus they loan us $$$$ all the time we give them NO 1 ststus chris
 

June M (395)
Wednesday August 22, 2007, 5:52 am
Yet when visiting Annalee Dolls here in NH where Annalee Doll products were initially made by Annalee and other workers until the product grew to more than they could handle, I spoke with Chuck Thorndike, Annalee's son who told me all stitching for their dolls is done now in China and is superb to any done by their best stitchers here. This is hard to believe, especially after posting about the Chinese sweatshops abroad where workers frequently are brought to tears by their employers. If only the workers could picket and / or walkout do to the work conditions, treatment and torture by superiors and more to express their opinions.
 

Yan K (75)
Wednesday August 22, 2007, 5:52 am

Noted.

Peace
 

RC deWinter (418)
Wednesday August 22, 2007, 6:16 am
Well, Chuck Thorndike should consider at what price that "superb stitching" is produced.
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday August 22, 2007, 6:42 am
cate please post campaigns for people. your news posts garner alot of attention it woul dbe ever so helpful to post campaigns so people have it
 

LadyLou B (133)
Wednesday August 22, 2007, 7:06 am
Lou Dobbs reported on the 'out-sourcing' of jobs to other countries a few years back. The result is that Americans lose jobs, and thus creates jobs in countries, (like China), which have virtually no labor laws. The manufacturers, i.e. Disney, Hasbro, etc., make a more than hefty profit by doing business like this. Americans lose jobs, more sweatshops are created, and the quality of the product diminishes. The only winner here are the manufacturers ~ the workers in the sweatshops are exploited beyond belief, and our children have less job opportunities. Not to mention that 80% of the toys are hazardous to our children!
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday August 22, 2007, 7:36 am
I still place all the blame on the American side of this issue. The US doesn't do the right type or ENOUGH of testing once the products are here on our soil. So who is to blame for our American people being hurt by the chinese? NOT The Chinese, but our own government AS USUAL. Noted though Cate ;-)
I just really think these stories are more calling the kettel black then fair.
 

Malachi S (6)
Wednesday August 22, 2007, 8:00 am
I see people complain about foreign made products, yet those same people are still buying those same foreigh made products. If you want to stop inferior products, buy products produced in your own country. Of course, you know it's gonna cost more, but I believe, you get what you pay for.
I look at the label, if it says China, it doesn't come to my house. If enough people would do the same, they would eventually have to bring their jobs back to their own countries.
Just my thought. Noted Thanks Cate
Happy thoughts.
 

Danielle Lorman (9)
Wednesday August 22, 2007, 9:37 am
Peggy and Malachi, I completely agree! This is OUR governments fault PERIOD! And I dont see spending going down and until it does NOTHING is going to change...we are supporting slave labor as long as we keep buying these products...I know it is hard not to and seems like it would be expensive...I do it by buying as much as possible from thrift shops and the rest I buy only made in America earth friendly products, you can find lots of these companies on the internet. Actually I find great deals by doing a little shopping around, or I should saying clicking around...with two small grand babies I am always looking for good , safe products. This way I am helping small companies that I believe in, plus I am keeping my family safe, and I am not helping slave labor.
 

Eduardo L (101)
Wednesday August 22, 2007, 10:01 am
I agree with Malachi S. that many people who complain about foreign products are still buying those imports. For more than 5 years, I have tried hard to avoid the purchase of some low quality imported products, but there is less and less selection. This situation will not be changed unless the majority of people are willing to pay for extra $$. US manufacturers have been exploiting other developing countries such as Vietnam to replace China for the sake of profits. I totally agree with Peggy E. that we need help from our government to eliminate those harmful foreign products, or consumers have to do it ourselves.

40 years ago, Americans could afford to buy US made products. We are no longer willing to pay for expensive home-made merchandise today because there are more options. It is also possible that people are consuming more today, or our relative incomes are lower than the older days.
 

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Wednesday August 22, 2007, 10:09 am
HONG KONG (Reuters) - A U.S.-based workers' rights group said it found "brutal conditions" and labor violations at eight Chinese plants that make toys for big multinationals, and called on the companies to take steps for better standards.

China Labor Watch said in a report issued on Tuesday after several months of investigation that the manufacturers -- which served a handful of global players, including Disney, Bandai and Hasbro -- paid "little heed to the most basic standards of the country."

"Wages are low, benefits are non-existent, work environments are dangerous and living conditions are humiliating," it said.

The report comes as Chinese exports are under growing scrutiny abroad over safety concerns a week after Mattel Inc recalled millions of toys, including 436,000 die-cast toy cars from its "Cars" line, because they may contain excessive amounts of lead.

China has also been hauled over the coals for the safety of food, drugs and other exports ranging from tires to toothpaste. Officials have been quick to say that the vast majority of the country's exports meet standards.

The report concluded that "short-sighted policies" drive major companies to "turn a blind eye to safety -- and to ignore the labor conditions in their supplier factories as well."

"Instead of concentrating on improving product safety and workers' lives, companies spend their energy creating beautiful pamphlets on social responsibility, disputing critical reports and shifting blame," it said.

CHEAP SUBCONTRACTORS

Walt Disney Company International said that it and its affiliates take claims of unfair labor practices very seriously, investigate any such allegations thoroughly and take remedial action.

"We have a firm commitment to the safety and well-being of workers, and fair and just labor standards," spokeswoman Alannah Goss said in an e-mailed statement.

Hasbro could not be reached for an immediate comment, while Japan's Bandai declined to comment.

China Labor Watch listed steps big international firms should take, including: pay supplier factories a reasonable price for their products, help the factories correct violations and take responsibility for suppliers' legal infractions.

They should also pay better wages and publicize the results of factory audits, it said.

Many foreign companies and experts in Chinese manufacturing say it can be hard to verify whether or not a supplier is living up to commitments to meet labor and environmental standards 100 percent of the time.

Suppliers, including some named in the China Labor Watch report, sometimes coach employees how to answer questions during inspections, and many keep two sets of books to fool auditors.

Industry experts also say that some manufacturers show off clean, inspection-passing facilities to international clients when they visit, but secretly subcontract some of the work to hidden, substandard production lines that are cheaper to run.

In the Pearl River Delta, a manufacturing hub on the southern coast near Hong Kong that drives much of China's spectacular growth, labor conditions have "improved somewhat" in recent years but remain poor, China Labor Watch said.

"Corporate codes of conduct and checklist-auditing are not enough by themselves to strengthen workers' rights if corporations are unwilling to pay the real price it costs to produce a product according to the standards in their codes."

The group said it saw quality problems as "a result of multinationals' single-minded pursuit of ever-lower prices and neglect of other considerations."

Eighty percent of the $22.3 billion worth of toys sold in the United States were made in China, said China Labor Watch, which has been promoting labor rights in the country and reporting on working conditions there since 2000.
=========================================
"Corporate codes of conduct and checklist-auditing are not enough by themselves to strengthen workers' rights if corporations are unwilling to pay the real price it costs to produce a product according to the standards in their codes."
The group said it saw quality problems as "a result of multinationals' single-minded pursuit of ever-lower prices and neglect of other considerations."

THIS IS A DIRECT RESULT OF ALL COUNTRIES -- NOT JUST CHINA -- ADOPTING A FOR-PROFIT SYSTEM: CAPITALISM; instead of a FAIR TRADE SYSTEM {SOCIALISM!}.
A for-profit system results INEVITABLY in a "RACE TO THE BOTTOM"; where other countries try to produce goods for large international corporations even CHEAPER, if possible, than China does: which they can ONLY do by treating their workers even WORSE; and cutting even MORE corners and making their products even MORE sub-standard.
FAIR TRADE NOT FREE TRADE is the only answer.

Fair Trade benefits BOTH parties. The Capitalist for-profit think-only-of-the-bottom-line system, functions BEST with child labor, prison labor, slave labor, underpaid and brutally-exploited labor. THAT IS HOW THE CUSTOMERS OF THE BIG INTERNATIONAL CORPORATIONS GET ALL THEIR CHEAPLY-SUPPLIED GOODS.

If goods reflected, as the article says, the REAL cost to produce them -- including the Environmental cost, and the workers' health and safety cost; THEY WOULD BE MORE EXPENSIVE.
Ya can't have it both ways!!!




 

Charles C (160)
Wednesday August 22, 2007, 11:42 am
I agree, if it was made in China, it's not going home with me. The FDA is not doing their job and China doesn't care who gets hurt from their products or the manufacturing of them.......the FDA let them into the country, tainted pet food, toothpaste, lead in toys........hmmmmmm, why aren't heads rolling for those feats of incompetence? Seems most government offices and departments are doing a lot less of what they were established to do!
Thanks for the post Cate.
Noted
But bottom line, I will continue to Boycott China and all their products.
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday August 22, 2007, 11:52 am
NOTED!!
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday August 22, 2007, 12:03 pm
We have to think about manufactuing things here in the good old USA as we did in the old days and our farming again. God all I can think of is all the children that have these toys , and people who bought the pet food and toothpaste . God something has to be done soon.
 

Joycey B (750)
Wednesday August 22, 2007, 12:38 pm
Still boycotting them.
 

Kari D (192)
Wednesday August 22, 2007, 1:03 pm
NOTED:(
 

Blacktiger P (247)
Wednesday August 22, 2007, 1:37 pm
I only come back to the reason the stuff is made in China & India as well is "cost" positive for the companies who do not have to pay the wages that americans and canadians would otherwise get. They also don't have to pay benefits. IF they would take into consideration all the money they lose in recall they might as well have the work done at home anyway. So noted
 

. (0)
Wednesday August 22, 2007, 2:35 pm
i don't even eat chinese food any more as long as americans are dying i won't eat it
 

Jennie B (14)
Wednesday August 22, 2007, 6:06 pm
Noted/Shared.
 

(1)
Wednesday August 22, 2007, 7:10 pm
this is a out rage it is not only the chinese's responsibility but the american greed ,companys like Disney etc

and it was bound to happen just a matter of time :)
 

Linda H (199)
Wednesday August 22, 2007, 8:00 pm
Nothing but greed!
 

Rosemary Rannes (642)
Wednesday August 22, 2007, 9:33 pm
CONSCIOUSNESS! WE THE CONSUMER MUST START AT SQUARE 1 = CONSCIOUSNESS! I CAN NEVER JUSTIFY PURCHASING ANYTHING FROM A COUNTRY LIKE CHINA WITH IT'S HORRIFIC HUMAN RIGHTS TRAGEDIES AND GROSS INJUSTICES! AND NOW MORE THAN EVER, WITH THE HEALTH AND WELFARE OF ALL OUR CHILDREN AT STAKE WE CANNOT AFFORD IN ANY WAY TO SUPPORT THE CHINESE ECONOMY. MADE IN THE USA, MADE IN CANADA, MADE ANYWHERE WHERE DIGNITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS ARE ON THE TABLE..... THEN AND ONLY THEN, WILL WE AS CONSUMERS BE IN CONTROL AND KNOW OUR CHILDREN HAVE INDEED BEEN PLACED FIRST - ABOVE ALL ELSE. CONSCIOUSNESS DEAR FRIENDS !
 

Denice G (45)
Wednesday August 22, 2007, 10:38 pm
Noted !!
 

Beverly L (72)
Wednesday August 22, 2007, 10:47 pm
I agree with Rosemary. We should not be supporting countries with the human rights issues China has.
 

William V. SAFARIK JR. (4)
Thursday August 23, 2007, 4:31 am
Thanks Cate....and noted !!
 

Past Member (0)
Thursday August 23, 2007, 5:57 am
noted...:(
 

Carolyn T (234)
Thursday August 23, 2007, 8:51 am
B.Mutiny. I always appreciate your deep knowledge on any topic I've ever encountered whenever we are in the same forum. How DO you do it? I agree. I will also note to others that while we are decrying China's policies, we have an important vote coming up soon on raising our minimum wage rate and a President who wishes to deny basic medical to our most needy children. If I were to boycott Chinese food, I will have to boycott "American" food, too as I think our own record country has MANY human rights issues. Since this is offered as "food for thought", and not identifiable with any one country we can all partake of it.

 

Gini Brown (3)
Friday August 24, 2007, 6:03 pm
In order to make a dent in the bottom line of a large multi-national company we would need to boycott all goods made in China. That would mean lots of people would need to be standing behind us, a lot. We need to be united to make a change in the conditions in china, and the quality of the products produce for our country.
 

Martin K (80)
Friday August 24, 2007, 6:31 pm
Duly noted, I also agree with Carolyn, B.Mutiny. I laugh because it has all been said.
 

John Blalock (48)
Saturday August 25, 2007, 3:57 pm
American products & workmanship has got to be at is all time low. China`s workers are just slaves, what are ya going to do??? I would not trade with China, period. John
 

Tsandi Crew (95)
Sunday August 26, 2007, 6:44 am
Boycott China. It's the only way to fight the kind of war China is imposing on us.
 

Tsandi Crew (95)
Sunday August 26, 2007, 6:47 am
Boycott China. It's the only way to fight the kind of war China is imposing on us. We have border patrols on the South because we don't want Mexicans coming in to do cheap labor, but we import goods done by Chinese cheap labor. We send our own work over seas so it can be done by cheap labor. Then we criticize Bush for stupid thinking.

Now tell me. How does all this make any sense?
 

Marguerite snow (22)
Friday September 7, 2007, 5:39 pm
It all comes done to greed out sourceing work that can and should be done in this country but when they can get slave lador and line their greedy pockets that is all that matters not if the merchandise is safe.
Marguerite
 

Merry L (74)
Saturday September 8, 2007, 9:21 am
Noted and that's why I always look for USA made toys!
 
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