China: "Group slams Disney over labor abuses in factories" - Disney says it takes the allegations very seriously

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Company non-response
20 September 2006

Walt Disney did not respond to: Labour abuses at 3 factories producing Disney merchandise alleged in report by SACOM (Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior).

Article
11 September 2006

Group slams Disney over labor abuses in factories [China]

Author: Wendy Leung, Standard [Hong Kong. China]

Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior, or SACOM, accused three factories in the province [Guangzhou] of gross violation of mainland labor laws...It said the workers, besides being underpaid and forced to work overtime, were also not offered occupational insurance...after interviewing 50 workers from three factories [including Kamlong Industrial] in Shenzhen and Zhuhai...The latest claims drew a curt response from Walt Disney's corporate communications director, Alannah Goss, who said the company took the allegations very seriously and would investigate thoroughly... adding Disney has a strong international labor code of conduct for manufacturers, and carries out regular social compliance audits on independently run factories...However, SACOM spokeswoman Vivien Yau Tze-wei said their new report proved that Disney's regular audits were "useless."..."Workers are offered 70 yuan...as a reward by the factories if they help them cover up the truth when asked by auditors. We have also followed up on the four factories whose workers we interviewed last year, but none of them had made any improvement in treating their employees." Disney had said a year ago it would "take these claims very seriously" and would investigate them diligently after SACOM released its findings on the four factories...According to the group's latest findings, workers at the three factories are underpaid and receive an hourly wage of 2.19 yuan to 3.41 yuan, [much lower than] the legal wage requirement..."Some of the workers are forced to work up to 14 hours every day and 30 days a month, and all of them are denied overtime pay," Yau said.

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Article
10 September 2006

Survey shows Disney suppliers in southern China underpay, overwork employees

Author: Associated Press

The report by the Hong Kong-based Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior, or SACOM, investigated the Huangxing light manufacturing and Qisheng candle factories [also known as Chai Seng Candle Factory] in Shenzhen and the Jianlong toy factory [also known as Kamlong Industrial] in Zhuhai, all located near Hong Kong...The survey, based on interviews with workers, said all three factories pay below the minimum wage...The report said workers at the three factories worked overtime ranging from 60 to 136 hours per month, in violation of Chinese law, which only allows 36 hours of monthly overtime...The Huangxing factory's telephone number wasn't listed. Men who answered the phone at the Qisheng [Chai Seng] and Jianlong [Kamlong] factories said no one was available for comment...In a statement, The Walt Disney Co. (Asia Pacific) Ltd. didn't address the allegations in detail. "When factory audits, or information otherwise brought to us by third parties, reveal noncompliance with our (labor standards) code, we seek to work with the factory and, if appropriate, the vendor or licensee concerned to develop a remediation plan to bring its operations into compliance with our code," the statement said...At the Qisheng [Chai Seng] factory, workers allegedly were paid late, receiving their pay for March this year on May 10. Jianlong [Kamlong] factory reportedly banned ill workers from taking sick leave when they had to rush to fill orders...The survey alleged that the Jianlong [Kamlong] factory only bought medical or accident insurance for some employees for show when there was an audit...

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Article
10 September 2006

[PDF] In Search of Disney's Conscience [China] [Article in Chinese]

Author: Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM)

[Original article in Chinese. Title translation, and following summary of the article's key points, provided by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre.]
Further to the report released by SACOM in August 2005 on labour rights violations in four of Disney's supplier factories in China ["Looking for Mickey Mouse’s Conscience - A survey of the working conditions of Disney’s supplier factories in China"], SACOM finds that Disney has not shown much improvement in terms of its compliance to Chinese labour laws and its own code of conduct. In this report, SACOM interviewed workers from 3 other factories, in Shenzhen and Zhuhai, namely, Longgang Huangxing Light Industry, Chai Seng Candle Products and Kamlong Industrial [Kamlong Industrial is also a supplier for Tesco, Kellogg's, YUM!, Wal-mart, Target, Woolworths and First Years (part of RC2)] respectively producing key chains, candles and toys for Disney. These factories pay workers hourly wages (2.04-3.41 Renminbi) much lower than the legal minimum (4.02-4.12 Renminbi, depending on the region). In the worst case, a worker was paid on average 1.7 Renminbi per hour. Workers work a 11- to 14-hour work-day, with overtime not fully compensated. The factories were also accused of improper and unclear calculation of wages and denying workers sick leave and the choice to quit their job without losing their financial deposit. Safety in the workplace is a grave concern in addition to the lack of social insurance. Living conditions and meals provided to workers are poor. In one factory, a dormitory has only one shower and one toilet to be shared by 180 people. None of those interviewed were aware of these factories providing paid maternity leave to women workers. Workers from one of the factories, Chai Seng Candle Products, disclosed in a letter to SACOM that the products are produced for Disney, Hallmark Cards, Target and American Greetings.

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Article
7 September 2006

Disney's first year revenue more than HK$150 million [China]

Author: Apple Daily [Hong Kong, China]

[Original article in Chinese. Title translation, and following summary of the article's key points, provided by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre.]
"Disney Hunter" campaigner Lee Wing-yin estimated that Disneyland Hong Kong receives HK$150 million revenue from 5 million visitors every year. However, the workers in China who make its products do not even get a living wage. An NGO, Students and Scholars against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM), found out the hourly wage for some workers in Kamlong Industrial in Zhuhai which makes Disney's souvenirs and toys to be as low as 22 US cents. [Kamlong Industrial is also a supplier for Tesco, Kellogg's, YUM!, Wal-mart, Target, Woolworths and First Years (part of RC2)] Overtime can be as high as 100 hours per month. The factory spokesman, Mr Lu, admitted to the excessive overtime yet stressed that workers are given the salary they deserve. SACOM and Disney Hunter will launch a protest against Disney on 10 September at which time a full report of their concerns about Disney's conduct will be provided.

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Article
18 August 2005

[PDF] Looking for Mickey Mouse’s Conscience - A survey of the working conditions of Disney’s supplier factories in China

Author: Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM)

SACOM...survey[ed]...four factories...in Shenzhen, Dongguan, and Zhongshan...[namely] Nord Race Paper International, Lam Sun Plastic Products, Hung Hing Printing (Shenzhen) and Hung Hing Printing and Packaging (Zhongshan) [both part of Hung Hing Printing]...
[Concerns raised in the report include high occurrence of occupational injuries and accidents, wages below local legal minimum, long working hours, poor working & living conditions, horrible food, flawed factory inspections, restrictions on resignation.]

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