With holiday shopping less than three months away, Green America is calling on consumers nationwide to send a message to Disney CEO Robert Iger asking him to address significant labor abuses in Disney factories that make Disney toys, including popular Frozen dolls. The campaign is calling on Disney to ensure living wages for workers and improved working and living conditions overall.
"Americans purchasing Frozen toys for their kids this Holiday season need to know the truth behind the toys: Disney is using factories in China that engage in exploitative practices," said Todd Larsen, executive co-director of consumer and corporate engagement at Green America. "We're asking all consumers to put pressure on Disney to address labor abuses in its factories, and we encourage consumers to purchase sustainable green toys this Holiday season."
"The beautiful world of Disney is merely a fairytale," said Li Qiang, founder and executive director of China Labor Watch."The real world is one where evil has triumphed over good, and where profits triumph over conscience. We need those who seek justice to come together and fight the villains in the world of Disney, to create a world where Disney is wholeheartedly kind and just."
"Disney has a lot of suppliers in China. It claims to regulate these suppliers with a Manufacturer Code of Conduct, which we doubt is effective," said Au Lap Hang, China officer at Worker Empowerment. "We observed serious violations of local labor law in Disney supplier factories, which include long working hours without proper overtime salary and not providing the mandatory state pension for workers. In recent years, the Disney Company even required suppliers to relocate their factories to Southeast Asia in order to reduce production cost. As a result, the Mizutani Factory inShenzhen was shut down and 196 workers lost their job, without getting the compensation required by law."
The campaign asks Disney to take the following actions to address labor abuses:
- Living wages for workers, so that workers need not rely on excessive overtime just to make ends meet.
- Strictly voluntary overtime work and payment for all overtime hours worked.
- Payment for all mandatory job-related activities including group meetings, training and on-boarding, including back pay for workers who were denied payments in the past.
- Hygienic and safe housing for workers.
- Pre-job safety training that adequately prepares workers and informs them of risks to their short-term and long-term health, and how to reduce these risks.
- A safe work environment, including free and easy access to safety equipment, and health screenings/exams, and clear and unlocked fire escapes.
- Allow workers to elect enterprise level union representatives and allow workers to elect their occupational health and safety representatives.
- Pay workers the full amount of social insurance they are owed and ensure severance payments for workers who lose their jobs when Disney supplier factories close.
A recent report from China Labor Watch entitled "The Dark World of Disney" found significant labor violations at two Disney supplier factories in China (Lam Sun Plastic Products Co. Ltd and Dongguan Zhenyang Toy Limited Company, both in Dongguan, Guangdong province), including workers laboring 12 hours per day with brief rest breaks, cramped dormitories with unhygienic facilities, low pay ($1.32 per hour), and forced overtime. The report is just the latest investigation by China Labor Watch which has documented similar labor abuses in dozens of Disney factories. In addition, Worker Empowerment, a non-profit labor rights group based in Hong Kong has documented similar abuses at Disney factories and the failure to provide severance pay for workers at a closed Disney supplier factory (Mizutani Toy Factory Co. Ltd inShenzhen), and is helping workers to obtain the severance owed to them.
About Green America
Green America is the nation's leading green economy organization. Founded in 1982, Green America (formerly Co-op America) provides the economic strategies and practical tools for businesses and individuals to solve today's social and environmental problems. http://www.GreenAmerica.org.