China: Child labour, forced overtime, health & safety breaches reported at toy factory supplying Disney, Mattel & Wal-Mart - companies respond

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Article
27 August 2011

Disney factory faces probe into sweatshop suicide claims [China]

Author: Gethin Chamberlain, Guardian [UK]

Disney's…Cars toys are being made in a factory in China that uses child labour and forces staff to do three times the amount of overtime allowed by law, according to an investigation. One worker reportedly killed herself after being repeatedly shouted at by bosses. Others cited worries over poisonous chemicals…The factory..Sturdy Products, makes toys for…Mattel....[and] for…Walmart…The undercover investigation was carried out with the help of human rights group Sacom (Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour)...Sturdy Products' parent company, Winson, failed to respond to requests to discuss the allegations…Walmart…said: "As soon as we learned of the allegations of human rights abuses…we immediately launched an investigation...[W]e will implement a corrective action plan if our investigations confirm any of the findings…"...Disney said: "We take these matters…very seriously and will continue to evaluate this situation…"...Mattel…[said] that the company was "deeply saddened" by the suicide but that…it was an isolated event and local authorities had found nothing suspicious about the circumstances…"...Sacom's findings brought a rebuke from the International Council of Toy Industries' Care Foundation. "We are the first to concede that much more work lies ahead of us, but we refuse to accept the sensationalist, media-oriented declarations of any group..." the foundation said.

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Article
10 August 2011

Labour concerns at Winson Sturdy Products factory [China]

Author: Compiled by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

On 8 July 2011 Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM) issued a press release...stating that there had been a recent suicide at Sturdy Products, a factory of Winson Plastic Manufactory that manufactures toys for Disney, Mattel and Wal-Mart...The statement asserts that labour abuses at Sturdy Products, "including poor work safety, excessive overtime...denial of social insurance, and repression of freedom of association", which SACOM had previously reported on, are continuing. It criticises the International Council of Toy Industry's (ICTI) CARE program, which has certified the factory as providing decent working conditions..[A]n article from South China Morning Post..."Wal-Mart starts probe on suicide at Shenzhen plant", report[s] that Wal-Mart is investigating the situation and not[es] that the managing director of Winson "could not be reached for comment". Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited the buyers, the factory owner, and ICTI-CARE to respond to these allegations. The responses are indicated below: ICTI-CARE responded, Disney and Winson declined to respond; Mattel did not respond. Wal-Mart was invited to send us further comment. If it does we will include it here.

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