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27 Aug 2011

Gethin Chamberlain, Guardian [UK]

Disney factory faces probe into sweatshop suicide claims [China]

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.

Part of the following timelines

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

Labour concerns at Winson Sturdy Products factory - August 2011