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I used to think that Disney was as wholesome and american as  Apple Pie.  I think most people felt the same way.  But it appears that our favorite mouse has been hanging with the rats for far too long.  The PT/911 fiasco is one thing.  I trust most of you have read Terre's Diary.  But the thing that really bothers me about Disney is that it seems to be into the Sweat Shop business.  I don't think Disney can spin that one favorably.  Add forced labor to lies, and you get one pissed off diarist.

More after the flip...

I guess I'll just start of with a good ole block quote, and then go from there:

Hong Kong- Labour rights campaigners have protested outside Hong Kong's Disney theme park accusing Disney of using sweatshop factories in China, a news report said Monday. Workers at three factories making Disney merchandise in China's southern Guangdong province are being paid below the minimum wage and forced to work up to 14 hours a day, according to the protestors.

A report by the Hong Kong-based Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour based on interviews with 50 workers claimed they were paid an hourly wage of 2.19 to 3.14 yuan (27 to 42 US cents) instead of the legal minimum of more than 4 yuan (50 US cents.

Some were forced to work up to 14 hours a day for 30 days a month and all of them are denied overtime pay, the group told Monday's Hong Kong Standard newspaper.

In addition, the group claims, none of the factories offered workers insurance protection against occupational injury or medical and retirement benefits, the newspaper said.

Around 30 members of the action group protested and held up banners outside Hong Kong Disneyland on Sunday.

A Disneyland spokeswoman told the newspaper that none of the merchandise produced in the three factories was sold in Hong Kong but instead went to other Disney theme parks around the world.

Hong Kong's Disney theme park, the first on Chinese soil, opened in September last year and has attracted more than five million visitors in its first 12 months.

Here's the link to that report... http://rawstory.com/...

Here's another link... http://www.thestandard.com.hk/...

And another... http://www.iht.com/...

I probably should say more than just these few lines and links, but say "WHAT?"  I'll say one thing though, I'll never shop Disney again.  Hope you all read the diary that Terre did, and follow the advice.

See ya.

Originally posted to Soul on Mon Sep 11, 2006 at 04:06 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If this has been done already, let me know. (7+ / 0-)
  •  More on Disney's labor trouble (7+ / 0-)

    Co-op America is a National nonprofit dedicated to harnessing the economic power of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society.

    They just released version 2.0 of their Responsible Shopper Web site. It is a great new resource for researching corporation, how to take action and how to find alternatives to supporting them with your dollars.

    They have a profile of Disney including their brands and affiliates and contact information.

    Another Co-op America resources is their Boycotts Organizer's Guide. It is an excellent resource for how to launch a consumer boycott.

    It could be useful tool to organize an effective consumer boycott of ABC and/or their advertisers.

    I-Tunes would be a good target for a secondary boycott. It is dependent upon a hip image and net savvy users.

    Disney has a long history of labor abuse from the factories that make their branded knick-knacks, toys and clothes.

    •  Thanks for the excellent info. (0+ / 0-)
    •  Useful information, but... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Soul

      ...that site has a lamentable tendency to never update records except when they find new problems.  In just the three companies I checked, there are a half-dozen complaints that are, frankly, completely outdated.  It appears that they have much more of an impetus to register problems with companies than they have to note when those companies have cleaned up their acts, or even to note when the company claims to be trying to.  (I am not saying we should take them at their words, but when a company issues a press release saying 'We have observed some problems with child labor and blahblahblah in such-and-such a region, and we are looking into it and expect to have a report within two months', that ought to be posted.  If the companies discover that they're going to get loads of crap about stuff they're no longer doing it gives them no incentive to actually change.)

      -fred

      •  I found this (0+ / 0-)

        kind of just a rant, and the guy doesn't provide links, but maybe it can guide research:

        If you have anything "Disney", you own something made in a Disney sweatshop. Yes, I said "sweatshop". Yep, even now, even today. This is how Disney does business.

        Included in the Happy Meals sold at McDonalds are small toys based on characters from Disney films. According to McDonald's senior vice-president Brad Ball, the Happy Meals characters from the "101 Dalmatians" movie were the most successful in McDonald's history. Ball said, "As we embark on our new global alliance, we anticipate ten great years of unbeatable family fun as customers enjoy 'the magic of Disney' only at McDonald's" (PR Newswire Associates, March 19, 1997).

        Seventeen year old women are forced to work 9 to 10 hours a day, seven days a week, earning as little as six cents an hour in the Keyhinge factory in Da Nang City, Vietnam making popular giveaway promotional toys - many of which are Disney characters for McDonald's Happy Meals. Overtime is mandatory. And no, six cents an hour isn't a fortune there - it's well below subsistence levels. The most basic meal in Vietnam - rice, vegetables, and tofu - costs 70 cents. Three meals would cost $2.10. Wages do not even cover 20 per cent of the daily food and travel costs for a single worker, let alone her family. We're not doing them any favors, nor even helping then in a basic human way by trading hard work for a better quality of life .

        Acute or prolonged exposure to acetone, a chemical solvent used to make and paint plastic toys, can cause dizziness, unconsciousness, damage to the liver and kidneys and chronic eye, nose, throat and skin irritation. After working a 70 hour week, some of the teenage women take home a salary of only $4.20. Many are made ill by constant chemical exposure. All appeals from local human and labor rights groups continue to be rejected by Keyhinge management which refuses to improve the ventilation system in the factory or remedy other unsafe working conditions. Along with demanding forced overtime, Keyhinge management has not made legally required payments for health insurance coverage for its employees, who now receive no compensation for injury or sickness.

        For years, Disney was one of the most active members in UNICEF, an organization dedicated to the protection of children's rights including protection from sexual exploitation and child labor, specifically. Disney is well aware of all the violations and conditions of all their factories. The organizations listed in this article have made them aware. Yet they continue to use them to make their stuff.

        In 1995 Federal Agents raided 2 sweat shops in Los Angeles which manufactured Disney stuff. Yes, good old L.A. We're not talking Viet Nam, thousands of miles away anymore...we're talking Los Angeles! Woah! One was the Nathan J. Co. who was using kids as young as 12 to make Disney Apparel. The other was the "Too Cute' Disney Label which, on top of using kids for workers, owed a lot of money in back wages. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, most of the folks working in the "Too Cute" factory were Thai Nationals working off debts to professional smugglers who got them into the country. Only it was a debt that never got paid because it turned into a slavery kind of situation.

        The truth of the matter is that Disney licensees have been caught using Child labor on three continents and the National Labor Committee in New York, whose job it is to track the labor force hiring of U.S. Corporations, considers Disney one of 'the worst offenders". And this has gone on for years and years. And you'd think Disney would be extra extra careful about it, wouldn't you? I guess it's easier to just blow it off, cover it up and continue using kids to make your shit for you.

        Charles Kernaghan of the National Labor Committee said , "People who are making Disney shirts are living in utter misery". Oh, those are made in Burma, by the way, where 80% of our heroin also comes from, according to the State Department. That's basically what the line of thought is: the profits not going to the workers making the Disney stuff is going to the drug lords. Seriously. In Haiti they make all the "Hunchback of Notre Dame", "Pohahontas", Mickey Mouse" and "Lion King" garments. The "Mickey for Kids" and "Classic Apparel", too. Hong Kong and Viet Nam kids make the Happy Meals. Chinese child labor make the "Little Mermaid", "Toy Story" and "Minnie Mouse" stuff. In fact 3 workers died out there after inhaling fumes from solvents.

        Joe Allen went undercover for NBC News to investigate the sweat shops that make Disney items and said, "In some cases kids have hands eaten away by solvents". In Indonesia he found kids as young as 12 sewing Disney stuffed/plush toys. The owner proudly told him he prefers to use kids as his work force because they're "easier to control".

        Remember this next time you take a cruise through McDonald's and just have to have that new Disney Happy Meal action figure.

        http://www.anomalies-unlimited.com/...

  •  Even more distressing is the continuing links (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mariachi mama, PhantomFly

    to CIA inspired efforts to keep destabilizing governments in Haiti that seem bent on democratic, voter-based societies, in favor of propping up corrupt, violent killers who then tyrannize the country, and loot the public treasury. This pattern is repeated widely in Latin America, through many different administrations. The combination of government-backed thuggery only encourages corporate thuggery, and one can hardly note the ill effects of the corporate bad behavior without also pointing out that the precondition for it is actually the bad behavior of the CIA/covert activities. The Bushevics contribution to the problem is to compound it, by adding an official layer of mercenaries--the privatized contractors--and no longer bothering any effort to disguise the previous behavior--still thuggery, but with the official fig leaf of "plausible deniability." In effect, W. raises the pirate flag immediately, rather than trying to disguise its intentions until the last minute. Perhaps it is an attitude learned in the oil industry.

  •  It's a damn shame, a fucking disgrace (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Elise, Leila, mariachi mama, PhantomFly, Soul

    that Disney had to be outed as using slave labor because of their mis-guided political beliefs.

    But very damn sweet none the less.

    Point: Disney and just about EVERY American corporation that sells its brand name to the fools that buy and wear the advertising are using SLAVE LABOR.

    Why in the world would any American pay a corporation to advertize the corporation's logo?

    Are we as a nation completely stupid?

    Now that Disney has joined the payola/propaganda crowd, maybe we'll pay more attention to their business practices.

    Nice diary!

  •  Disney (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Soul

    Perpetrators of child labor and child molestation.

    Mickey Mouse is a pedophile.

    If we're dumb. Then God is dumb. And maybe a little ugly on the side.

    by Ghost of Frank Zappa on Mon Sep 11, 2006 at 04:38:26 PM PDT

  •  Hate to be a Buzzkill, but...... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Soul

    ...isn't Bugs Bunny & Sponge Bob gear made in similar conditions?

    Hell, it's probably made in the same factory.

  •  I think this is pretty much true (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Soul

    True for pretty much anything made in China or sold at Walmart. A good reason in and of itself to avoid both. But heck, right now, it's also one more reason to boycott Disney. Lord knows we don't need any more easily broken, imagination stiffling, plastic crappy toys in our house.

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