China: Concerns regarding working conditions at Dongguan Zhenyang Toy factory

In December 2015, Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights published a report, “Dirty Toys Made in China” on working conditions (including excessive hours and unexpected pay deductions) at Dongguan Zhenyang Toy Factory, owned by Tai Nam Industrial. The report said that the factory supplies for international brands including Disney, Hasbro & Mattel.

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited the companies to respond to the report.

Tai Nam Industrial, Disney, Hasbro and Mattel provided responses (Mattel responded that it ceased business with the factory in 2012, and Hasbro said that while the factory had been a third-party supplier to Hasbro in the past, they have not supplied Hasbro products since 2014).  

ICTI Care also issued a response to the report based on its investigation of the factory.

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Item
10 February 2016

ICTI Care response to Institute for Global Labor and Human Rights: “Dirty Toys Made in China – The Zhenyang Wanju Sweatshop Factory”

Author: ICTI Care

January 2016

Prior to the publication of the IGLHR report, ICTI CARE was in the process of investigating this factory in response to a report from China Labor Watch (CLW). Subsequent to the publication of IGLHR report, we therefore extended our investigation. Our extended investigation included  additional visits to the factory and meetings with factory management.

This report details the findings of our own investigation. Recommendations and next steps are included in the conclusion at the end of the report.

ICTI CARE values the work of Non Government Organizations (NGOs) and we once again confirm our commitment to working transparently and collaboratively with them. We would also urge IGLHR and others to report issues which are illegal immediately to the local authorities or to ICTI CARE directly. Withholding information from organizations or authorities that may be able to take immediate remedial action to address such issues keeps workers at risk.

We encourage our stakeholders, including NGO’s, to observe our investigations to ensure they are fair, rigorous and transparent...

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Company response
22 January 2016

Hasbro response to IGLHR report on Dongguan Zhenyang Toy factory

Author: Hasbro

Hasbro is committed to corporate social responsibility and conducting its business in accordance with high ethical and business standards. We know that when consumers choose Hasbro toys and games, it’s an act of trust that our products are manufactured safely, under fair labor conditions, and without ethical compromises. Hasbro combines industry best practices, strategic partnerships, and strict auditing standards to respect the safety, well-being, and dignity of workers, and works continuously to ensure compliance with all third party manufacturing facilities. We utilize the ICTI CARE process as well as our own rigorous ethical sourcing practices to ensure that employees at all third party facilities have a healthy and safe working environment.

We are aware of the Institute for Global Labor and Human Rights (IGLHR) report “Dirty Toys Made in China,” dated December 2015. We take all allegations regarding our ethical sourcing program very seriously and promptly investigated the IGLHR report. We performed an unannounced factory inspection on December 14, 2015 and confirmed that no Hasbro product was being produced in this facility. While Zhenyang Wanju had been a third-party supplier to Hasbro in the past, they have not supplied Hasbro products since 2014.

At Hasbro, we appreciate IGLHR’s and other organizations’ sharing information about toy factory conditions and welcome the opportunity to work together toward the shared goal of ensuring human rights are being upheld throughout our supply chain.

For more about Hasbro’s commitment to corporate social responsibility and ethical sourcing practices please visit www.hasbro.com/csr

Company response
14 January 2016

Mattel response to IGLHR report on Dongguan Zhenyang Toy factory

Author: Mattel

Mattel has for many years taken steps to ensure adequate working conditions at its owned and operated and supplier sites.   While the Institute for Global Labor and Human Rights report noted in your email implies Mattel brands are currently produced at Tai Nam Industrial Co., Ltd., in fact this is a previous supplier with no production for Mattel in nearly 4 years.   Please note that Mattel ceased business with the Tai Nam in May 2012 due to business reasons.  

Thank you for the opportunity to respond and address the inaccuracies noted in your report.   You can learn more about Mattel’s Citizenship efforts by visiting our corporate website, which includes recently updated information on our programs and progress, including our recently updated Responsible Supply Chain Standards: http://citizenship.mattel.com/responsible-supply-chain/ .     

Company response
11 January 2016

Disney response re Dongguan Zhenyang Toy factory

Author: Disney

...We take seriously claims of labor standards violations against the independent facilities producing Disney-branded products.  When stakeholders bring allegations of labor violations to our attention, it is our practice to thoroughly investigate those allegations to determine whether claims can be validated...

We have reviewed the claims raised by IGLHR in its latest report.  Upon reviewing the last audit, which took place in early December 2015 as part of a follow up investigation to claims made against this facility by China Labor Watch (CLW), some but not all of the allegations made were substantiated by our auditors.  The major violations confirmed are inadequate fire safety procedures and discriminatory practices by facility management...These improvements must be made within a specific amount of time.  Failure to comply within that time will result in that facility losing its authorization to produce Disney-branded products...

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Company response
21 December 2015

Tai Nam Industrial Co response

Author: Tai Nam Industrial Co.

...Our management immediately carried out an internal investigation on our COC status. Although there is room for improvement, we found many of the allegations in the report to be false. A lot of the accusations are exaggerated. We certainly reject the term “sweatshop” to be applied to our factory.

Dongguan Jauntiway Toys Company Limited has participated in the ICTI CARE Process for many years, and we have been certified as Class A since 2013. In 2015, TUV Rheinland and UL Responsible Sourcing audited our factory in May and October respectively. Despite some minor issues, no serious violation was found. In addition, ICTI CARE Foundation visited our factory on 4th December. Again, no major problem was found...We will continue to strictly adhere to ICTI code of business practices...Jauntiway Toys are fully motivated to continuously improve our working environment and treat workers with respect.

As I mentioned above, ICTI CARE Foundation visited our factory on 4th December, and they will make an official response regarding “Dirty Toys Made in China”. As of this moment, they are still preparing for it...

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Article
9 December 2015

Dirty Toys Made in China report

Author: Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights

Popular toys…are made under harsh and abusive conditions at the Dongguan Zhenyang Wanju Limited factory in China by young workers forced to toil 12 to 13-plus hour shifts… earning as little as $1.36 an hour…

New workers receive little or no training, even for work in dangerous departments. Workers…identified many health hazards at Zhenyang.  But the factory has no health and safety committee…The workers do not use earplugs despite the fact that noise levels are extremely high in some departments… In the spray paint department, the workers do not always have fans.  Nor do they have masks. The spray paint and printing work rooms are full of fumes from chemicals including industrial alcohol, phenylenediamine and sodium peroxide…In the Assembly Department and warehouse, there are locks on the fire safety doors…

The labor contract is just a blank sheet of paper.  There is nothing on it, and workers are told, “just sign it.”…All overtime is obligatory and sick leave is not allowed. Workers found a water pipe spewing what they believe to be sewage from one of the factory buildings into a nearby stream.  The discharge is yellow and has a putrid smell…

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