The consumers in the West wish for products at a reasonable cost, but give no thought regarding their manufacture, for if they did, they would realise the wages the workers received.
Investigations such as these by NGO China Labor Watch bring this information to the attention of Western consumers together with descriptions relating to the working conditions and the hours worked.
We in the West could do more to stop these practices by boycotting the products, this would show these workers that we do care. However, this could mean instead of improving their conditions the employers could just stop production, which would then mean the workers would lose the pittance that they now receive.
So, alternately, we could make a combined effort to bring these practices to the attention of the ruling authorities in a way that they will have to take action.
[…] An investigation with the US-based NGO China Labor Watch reveals that toys including Barbie, Thomas the Tank Engine and Hot Wheels were made by staff earning as little as 86p an hour.
Overtime can run to nearly three times the legal limit. In some factories – including one producing Happy Meal toys for McDonald’s from the new DreamWorks movie Trolls – that means some are on 12-hour shifts and have to work with hazardous chemicals.
According to China Labor Watch, the world of toys may be heaven for children, but it is a world of misery for toy factory workers.
The group’s founder and executive director, Li Qiang, said: “We can’t tolerate that children’s dreams are based on workers’ nightmares, and we must fight against the unfair oppression of workers who manufacture toys.”
Undercover investigators infiltrated four factories, and the group shared wage slips…
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