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Archive for the ‘sweatshop’ Category

Microsoft workers in China: ‘We are like prisoners’

Posted by Author on April 14, 2010


Digitaljournal.com –

A Chinese factory making Microsoft peripherals violates every single labor law in China, according to a new report from the National Labor Committee. KYE factory workers toil away 12 hours a day Monday through Friday and earn 43 cents an hour.

Dongguan, China – “We are like prisoners,” one worker at KYE Factory told the NLC, according to the report. “It seems like we live only to work. We do not work to live. We do not live a life, only work.”

That is one of the many statements casting a cloud over Microsoft’s labor practices. Microsoft has been outsourcing production to the KYE factory since at least 2003, the NLC found, and the factory often makes peripherals such as mice, keyboards and webcams.

Released yesterday, NLC’s report titled China’s Youth Meet Microsoft explains daily working conditions:

Twenty or thirty workers on a line must complete 2,000 Microsoft mice in 12 hours. The workers’ hands and fingers are constantly moving, many suffering abrasions and cuts, since the connectors must be inserted very closely together.

The report goes on to quote several workers, who offer an inside perspective on working at KYE in Dongguan City, Guangdong, China. One employee states: “We are ordered around and told what to do and what not to do. No one in management has ever asked us about anything. There is no discussion. You feel no respect.”

What about shifts? Fifteen-hour shifts are not uncommon, the report alleges, and staff are “prohibited from talking, listening to music or using the bathroom during working hours.”

The report, compiled with interviews and photographs from the past three years, found that the majority of KYE’s 2,000 workers were between 16 and 18 years old……. (more details from digitaljournal.com)

Posted in Business, China, Company, Economy, employment, Guangdong, Human Rights, Law, Life, Microsoft, News, People, SE China, Slave labour, Social, sweatshop, USA, Worker, World, Youth | Comments Off on Microsoft workers in China: ‘We are like prisoners’

Disney China Factory Violates Labour Laws: report

Posted by Author on September 13, 2007


AFP, via Google News, Sep. 12, 2007-

HONG KONG (AFP) — Workers at a Chinese factory making Disney toys are overworked, underpaid, exposed to dangerous toxins and forced to live in filthy conditions, a labour rights group said in a report Wednesday.

The study, released on the second anniversary of the opening of Hong Kong Disneyland, said factory workers complained they were forced to work 28 days a month and up to 15 hours a day.

Staff at Haowei Toys in southern China also are not allowed to take time off during peak seasons, according to the report released by the Hong Kong-based Students and Scholars against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM).

“The conditions at Haowei reflect the failure of the Disney system to monitor and respond effectively to violations of the Disney code of conduct and the workers’ rights the code professes to defend,” the report said.

About a dozen activists staged a protest outside the theme park, waving a banner that read “No Disney Sweatshop Toys” and urging the US entertainment giant to improve working conditions.

Staff are paid 2.5 yuan (32 US cents) per hour, 62.5 percent of the legal minimum wage of 4.02 yuan, while overtime premiums are also below the minimum required by law, said the report compiled from interviews with 35 employees.

The study charges that managers fine workers five yuan for toilet breaks that exceed five minutes and 10 yuan for refusing to do overtime work.

The report also said workers in the paint spraying and pad printing departments complained that they were sometimes breathing in chemical and paint fumes for hours due to poor ventilation, exposing them to health risks.

The employees are not given insurance against work injuries, nor are they granted pensions, the study said.

The report includes pictures of filthy communal toilets in the staff dormitory, saying pipes are often blocked, causing waste to spill out.

Walt Disney said it takes “claims of unfair labour practices very seriously, and (will) investigate any such allegations thoroughly”.

It admitted its own investigation had revealed violations at the Haowei factory, adding that action would be taken to rectify the problem.

“Disney is currently working on a factory remediation plan with the licensee who has placed orders with this factory,” it said in a statement.

Hong Kong Disneyland, which opened on September 12, 2005, is struggling to attract visitors. The park would not disclose attendance numbers and would only say it has been given consistently high guest satisfaction ratings.

– Original report from AFP : Disney violates Chinese labour laws: report

Posted in Business, China, Company, Economy, employment, Hong kong, Law, Life, News, People, sweatshop, Worker, World | 2 Comments »

Report: Failings of China’s School System is The Root of Child Labour

Posted by Author on September 4, 2007


Press release, China Labour Bulletin

Small Hands: A survey report on Child Labour in China provides a timely, detailed and insightful analysis of the growing problem of child labour in China. Based on research carried out on the ground in 2005, the report explores both the demand for child labour in China and the supply of child labour stemming from serious failings in the rural school system.

Our researchers talked to government labour officials, school teachers and administrators, factory owners, child workers and their parents to build up a picture of the living and working conditions of child labourers and explore the reasons why these children drop out of school early and go into work.

Because child workers have no ability to protect themselves, they are generally paid less, work longer hours and live in poorer conditions than adult workers. Moreover, because child labour is illegal, very often workers and their employers will develop covert alliances to avoid detection by government and law enforcement agencies, thus driving the problem further underground.

While poverty is clearly an important factor in the creation of child labour, the report identifies the failings of China’s school system as the root cause of the problem. China’s investment in education is only 2.7 per cent of its GDP, less than half the United Nations’ recommended level of funding. Primary and secondary schools in poor rural counties receive minimal, if any, government funding, and students’ parents have for many years provided the bulk of the funding through the payment of various “miscellaneous fees.” This forces parents to make a cost/benefit analysis between the cost of their child’s education, the potential benefits of further education and the immediate benefits of dropping out of school early finding work. Our researchers discovered the drop out rate for middle school students in some areas was around 40 per cent or even higher.

The problem is exacerbated by a school curriculum at both primary and secondary levels that emphasizes academic excellence over broad-based vocational training. Many students drop out simply because they cannot keep-up; while others are weeded out by schools anxious to show off high examination pass rates. And even if rural students do make it all the way to university, they now have very little chance of a good job on graduation, making the benefits of continuing education even more questionable and remote.

In the final section of the report, China Labour Bulletin recommends that the laws on child labour be simplified and clarified and that officials are both equipped and encouraged to effectively implement the law. In order to limit and eventually eliminate the supply of child labour, CLB recommends that the government provide sufficient funding to ensure that the compulsory stages of education in China are genuinely free to all, and that a much greater role be given to non-governmental organizations and social groups in tackling and eroding the socio-economic foundations of child labour supply.

To read the report in full click here (in .PDF).

Original report from China Labour Bulletin

Posted in Child Labour, Children, China, Economy, Education, employment, Law, News, People, Social, sweatshop, Worker, World | Comments Off on Report: Failings of China’s School System is The Root of Child Labour

Workers’ Rights Group Accuses China Toy Factories of Labor Abuses

Posted by Author on August 23, 2007


By DAVID BARBOZA, New York Times, August 22, 2007-

SHANGHAI, Aug. 21 — A workers’ rights group in the United States released a report on Tuesday detailing what it called brutal conditions and illegal practices in Chinese toy factories, many of which supply some of the world’s biggest brand-name toy makers, including Walt Disney and Hasbro.

China Labor Watch, which is based in New York, said that it had investigated eight Chinese factories over the last year and discovered widespread labor violations, including the hiring of under-age workers, mandatory overtime, unsafe working conditions and managers who engaged in verbal abuse and sexual harassment.

In one instance, the group said, a toy factory in the impoverished Guangxi Province hired 1,000 junior high school students. Chinese law forbids employers to hire children under the age of 16.

“Shortsighted policies drive corporations like Hasbro to turn a blind eye to safety — and to ignore the labor conditions in their supplier factories,” the group said in its report.

The report is being issued at a time of growing concern about the quality and safety of Chinese exports, and after a series of large toy recalls involving Chinese-made goods.

The Chinese government, however, has insisted that most Chinese exports are safe and of good quality, and multinational corporations say they have stepped up the monitoring and auditing of Chinese factories.

But some workers’ rights groups say tainted and defective products are a result of a factory system that allows big corporations to outsource to contractors here who routinely violate Chinese labor laws and cheat workers to reduce costs and increase profits.

China Labor Watch assigned part of the blame to multinational corporations that focus on keeping costs low.

Hasbro said in a statement that it would conduct a thorough investigation into the issues raised in the report and would “act swiftly and decisively in making any necessary changes.”

“Hasbro has an excellent record in the arena of product safety and, in light of the recent news from China, we have increased the intensity of our ongoing safety review efforts when it comes to any of our products manufactured both here and overseas,” the statement said.

Disney said in a statement that it and its affiliates take allegations of unfair labor practices seriously, investigate them thoroughly and take remedial action. “We have a firm commitment to the safety and well-being of workers, and fair and just labor standards,” a spokeswoman, Alannah Goss, said in an e-mail statement, according to Reuters.

The report by China Labor Watch is only the latest in a series of reports issued by nongovernmental organizations over the last few years detailing worker abuse in Chinese factories.

Last June, a group of trade unions and nongovernmental organizations accused several Chinese companies that make merchandise for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games of using under-age workers and forcing many to work overtime in unsafe conditions.

The Beijing Olympic organizing committee later revoked the license of at least one company that made Olympic merchandise, saying the company had hired some under-age workers and did not have employee contracts.

Many other companies, including Apple and McDonald’s, have also been the subject of reports by Chinese journalists and workers’ rights groups here that accuse the companies of violating Chinese labor laws. The companies have denied violating the law and said that if they are alerted to violations, they will act.

In response to China Labor Watch’s report, the International Council of Toy Industries issued a statement Tuesday saying that it is working with factory management in countries like China to ensure workers are treated fairly. “Our objective is to alleviate working conditions like those described in the report in order to make sure that workers don’t bear the brunt of poor factory management practices and keep their jobs,” Alan Hassenfeld, a spokesman for the organization, said in the statement.

Many companies, particularly toy companies, have independent auditors who make unannounced visits to factories with contracts from the companies. But critics say auditors are sometimes fooled by factory managers, who are coached in how to deal with them.

– Original report from New York Times : U.S. Group Accuses Chinese Toy Factories of Labor Abuses

Posted in Business, Child Labour, Children, China, Company, Economy, employment, Guangxi, Health, Law, Life, News, People, Report, Rural, Social, South China, sweatshop, Worker, World | Comments Off on Workers’ Rights Group Accuses China Toy Factories of Labor Abuses

Most Wicked Labor Camps in China (1) – Liaoning Masanjia

Posted by Author on August 21, 2007


Liaoning Masanjia Labor Camp

Address:Liaoning Masanjia Labor Camp

Masanjia Village, Masanjia Town, Yuhong District, Shenyang City
Liaoning Province, northeast China
Post Code: 110145
Tel: 024-89210822, 024-89212252, 024-89210454

Brief about Masanjia

The Masanjia Labor Camp, also called the “Ideology Education School of Liaoning Province,” is located in a suburb of Shenyang City, and is notorious for its heinous crimes against Falun Gong practitioners and known worldwide for its forced-brainwashing techniques.

Over the past four years and seven months, from July 1999 to February 2004, at least 99 practitioners were murdered there because of their belief in the universal principle of “Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance.” Their ages ranged from 27 to 65 and majority of them were only between 31 and 39 years old.

In one incident that was reported by several news agencies, 18 female practitioners were stripped naked and thrown into the cells of male criminals.

The Masanjia Labor Camp is a fascist camp for the purpose of enslaving prisoners to perform labor for profit. Prisoners must work for extended hours under the most appalling conditions.

The main “business” of the women’s section of the Masanjia Labor Camp is textile production. Not only are the detainees not paid, but also their work hours and workloads are pushed to the limit to “boost productivity and profits.”

Falun Gong practitioners from 14 years of age to over 60 have been forced to do intensive labor in the labor camp. They are routinely forced to work 14-16 hours a day, with no days off. Sometimes when there is a big order, they are forced to work for 36 hours nonstop.Falun Gong practitioners live in the most inhumane conditions. There is no bathroom in the camp. They are not allowed to brush their teeth, or to wash, shower, or change their clothes. Even the time for using the toilet is limited. The food given is minimal and is often rotten.

The horrendous conditions and excessive workload damage the health of the practitioners. Many have swollen legs and experience irregular menstruation. Some even develop atrophy of their buttocks due to the extensive hours of being forced to sit still and work.

Due to exhaustion, some have even fainted while working. However, no matter what physical conditions they are in, and no matter what the state of their health, they are not spared from the hard labor.

Torture methods used in Masanjia Labor camp

Nearly 100 torture methods used at the Masanjia Forced Labor Camp to force Falun Gong practitioners to renounce their beliefs, here we only list the the most commonly used 20 torture methods. ( details including photos see this report)

Torture Names

Torture method 1: body folding
Torture method 2: torturing the arms
Torture method 3: handstand (standing upside-down)
Torture method 4: hanging upside-down
Torture method 5: sealing the mouth
Torture method 6: tie-up
Torture method 7: handcuffing
Torture method 8: sitting with arms raised
Torture method 9: split legs and head against the floor
Torture method 10: sitting on a small stool
Torture method 11: sitting in a basin with cold water
Torture method 12: savage beating
Torture method 13: electric shock
Torture method 14: sitting on metal chair in solitary confinement cell
Torture method 15: sitting on metal chair inside “sardine can”
Torture method 16: force-feeding
Torture method 17: force-feeding through the nose
Torture method 18: handcuffed in “dead person’s bed” while naked and receive force-feeding through the nose
Torture method 19: “golden dragon in the ocean”
Torture method 20: freezing.

Cases of torture

1. Zhang Guizhi, female, tortured to death in Masanjia

“On April 12th, 2003 Ms. Zhang’s family received a notice issued jointly by the Masanjia Labor Camp, the local police station and Liujiawopu Village Committee stating that Ms. Zhang “is receiving emergency treatment because she’s critically ill.”

“By the time Ms. Zhang’s family arrived at Masanjia, she was already dead.

“Family members say there were noticeable wounds on her body, including numerous bruises as well as bloodstains in her nose and mouth.

“Labor camp officials refused to allow the family to take any photographs of the body.

“Initially, police and camp officials declined to answer questions about the cause of her death. When Ms. Zhang’s family members demanded to know why her body was black and blue, the police claimed that she had fallen in the shower, triggering a heart problem that led to her death.

“According to a source familiar with Masanjia Labor Camp, prisoners are only allowed to take showers on specific days. April 12th was not a designated “shower day” for those held in the camp, the source says.”

– excerpt, Report from Falun Dafa Information Center, 8/4/2003, “Falun Gong Woman Exhibits Torture Injuries, Dies in Masanjia Forced Labor Camp

2. After 23 Days of Torture, a Farm Woman Suffers a Mental Collapse

“While she was in the camp, her hands and feet were handcuffed to a pole. She was not allowed to sleep or to use the toilet facilities. The Masanjia staff wrapped her up in a plastic bag to contain the bad odors emitted from her bodily waste.

“After twenty-three days of torture, Ms. Liu finally broke down physically and mentally and could not recognize her own family. Even so, the police from the Beigang Town Authority still attempted to put her in a brainwashing session. ” ( More details )

3. A Woman’s Breasts Disfigured and Infected from Severe Electric Shock Torture

“Two guards from Benxi, holding electric batons, shouted, “We will see who is tougher!” The two men tore Ms. Wang’s shirt open and shocked her breasts with two electric batons for 30 minutes……. ( more details )

Warning: It is recommended that children and those with delicate sensitivities refrain from viewing these photos.

Photo 1, Photo 2

Cases of forced labor

1. Forced to Make Clothing for Export

“Zhou Yanchun, female, 33, product Inspector of the Shenyang Antibiotic Factory 104 workshop (illegally dismissed because she practices Falun Gong), resident of Haiwang Street construction working committee, New Town District, Shenyang City, Liaoning Province, ID number: 210113680412642

“In the labor camp, Ms. Zhou was forced to make products for export, such as clothing, handicrafts, and embroidered goods, for the “Xinghua Clothing Manufacturer.”

“She was forced to work from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., and sometimes even until midnight, with no breaks, no weekends off, and no compensation.

“Her hands were often swollen and covered with blood blisters, and her finger joints ached from the strenuous work.

“She was only given a limited amount of mildewed cornbread to eat. Her health declined rapidly. Due to the long work hours and appalling conditions, her face and eyes were swollen and she suffered intense abdominal pain. Yet, she was still not allowed to take any breaks.

“If she ever slumped over from weariness or showed signs of fatigue, she would be shocked with electric batons by the guards……. ( more details )

2. Forced to Work for Extended Hours to Make Products for Export

“Falun Gong practitioners, including Ms. Liu Fengmei, Ms. Cui Yaning, Ms. Xie Baofeng, Ms. Dong Guixia, Ms. Jiang Wei, Xu sisters, Ms. Li Ping, Ms. Luo Li, Ms. Li Yingxuan, Ms. Li Zemei, Ms. Bai Shuzhen, have been illegally imprisoned at the Masanjia Labor Camp due to the central government’s persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.

“The practitioners are forced to work from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m., making clothing, handicrafts, and embroidery for export.

“They have no breaks, no weekends off, and no compensation. Sometimes they are forced to work for as long as 36 hours without a break.

“From March 7 to 12, 2000, they were forced to work on a batch of products that were waiting to be immediately shipped overseas because the customer had a rush order.

“On March 11, 2000, they were informed that they would have to work overtime. They were forced to work non-stop from 6:30 a.m. on March 11, 2000 to 4 p.m. on March 12, 2000 (totaling 33.5 hours).

“However, on March 12, they had not been able to finish the assigned work. To punish them, the guards did not allow them to eat lunch. In addition, the guards beat or shocked the practitioners with electric batons…… ( more details )

Perpetrators

Camp director: Sun Fengwu, 86-24-89212096 ext206; 86-24-89210262;

Institute director: Su Jing, 86-24-86210074 ext 30; 86-24-89210567; 86-24-89210054;

Prisoner leaders: Shao Li, Xue Fenglu, Yue Qin, Zhang XX, Yu XX, Qiu Ping: 86-24-89210074 ext383;

Zhao Jinghua: 86-24-89212252; 86-24-9240454;

Judicature: Gao Fusheng, office number: 86-24-7340130; Home number: 86-24-7612366; Cell phone number: 86-13130446378;

Vice secretary: Cui Yanlin, office number: 86-24-7340321; Home number: 86-24-7616101; Cell phone: 86-13940816031

More reference:

Masanjia Forced Labor Camp— Wrecking Lives and Destroying the Human Conscience
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 6

Related:
List of the Most Wicked Labor Camps in Modern China
List of China Modern Torture Methods (slideshow)

Posted in China, Crime against humanity, Economy, Falun Gong, Freedom of Belief, Health, Human Rights, Labor camp, Law, Liaoning, Liaoning Masanjia, Made in China, NE China, News, People, Photo, Politics, products, Religious, Report, Shenyang, Slave labour, Social, Special report, sweatshop, Torture, Women, World | 4 Comments »

Rural Women Migrant Workers Shut Out of China’s Economic Boom

Posted by Author on July 29, 2007


Radio Free Asia, 2007.07.27-

China’s economic boom has been forged on the back of a cheap labor supply. What makes it so cheap isn’t just low wages—many workers have no access to industrial accident insurance, health insurance, or pension plans.

RFA’s Mandarin service has learned more about rural migrant workers in China’s big cities by talking to two women who have been sacked by their employers after suffering major setbacks.

“I was standing on a high stool sticking a strip of cloth,” said 47-year-old Chen Qiuzhen. “The cloth broke and I fell off the stool. At the time I was unable to walk, and they had to help me out to get transport.”

Chen traveled to the economically booming southern province of Guangdong from the countryside around Changde city, in the central province of Hunan, at the end of last year, and began working in the Wangniudun packaging plant connected to a Unilever factory in Dongguan city.

In March she sustained injuries following a fall at work, and the hospital diagnosed her with a compression fracture to the 12th thoracic vertebra.

Forced to resign

She remained in hospital for a month after admission, until her employers began to put pressure on her to discharge herself before she was fully recovered.

Initially, the factory asked Chen to pay for the cost of her stay in hospital, as she had no health insurance. They also asked her to resign from her job and go back home, offering her a payment of just 1,000 yuan (U.S.$132).

After several bargaining sessions, the factory finally agreed to pay her hospital bills and compensated her 6,000 yuan for the on-the-job injury. Chen had no other options.

Now, four months have passed since the accident, and Chen’s injury still hasn’t healed, making her unable to sit for any length of time without further damage and injury to her spine. She has no job and no health insurance, and is unsure how long her current savings of 6,000 yuan will last her.

Meanwhile, in the nearby city of Shenzhen, a 20 year-old woman from the southwestern province of Sichuan, went into a psychotic state after witnessing police brutality during a strike of 8,000 workers at the Shenzhen Baoji Arts and Crafts Co. Ltd, her aunt told RFA.

Fu Liangdan’s employer insisted that she be discharged from hospital, too, saying it would pay the hospital bills and medicine charges, and give her the 2,800 yuan (U.S.$370) she was owed in wages, if she agreed to resign from her job and return home.

Employers liable

The company refused to give out any compensation or severance pay on the basis that Fu’s injuries were not caused by an industrial accident.

“There was nothing we could do,” Fu’s aunt, Jiang Chunfeng, said.

“They wouldn’t give us any money. We went to the labor bureau and told them how ill she was, how she hadn’t eaten anything for more than 10 days. I said she would still need medical treatment even after returning home. Her father came over without anywhere to stay or anything to eat, and he was all shaken up and needed medication. I was extremely anxious and so I agreed to their demands,” Jiang said.

Liu Kaiming, a labor expert at the Shenzhen Institute for Contemporary Social Studies, said that according to the Industrial Accidents Insurance Law of the People’s Republic of China, Fu’s injury was not caused by an industrial accident. But he said she should still be entitled to a certain level of care even so.

“This is a designated ‘special acute illness’ requiring treatment of 3-6 months. As such, the hospital fees are payable by the employer, and she should receive 60% of her salary during this time,” Liu said.

A human resources officer at the Baoji Arts and Crafts factory would make no promises about any such benefit for Fu.

No deterrent for companies

“We have conducted this case according to the law. We have given her everything that we are obliged to give her. If you want to know any more you will have to contact people higher up with your queries. We have no further response to make,” said Director He, who declined to give her full name. However, her manager was on holiday and couldn’t be reached at the time of broadcast.

Jiang Chunfeng said Fu’s condition had not improved. She rarely spoke, Jiang said, and said she didn’t know the answer to anything she was asked.

Her case is similar to that of Chen Qiuzhen in that she lacks any kind of insurance, and has lost her livelihood, along with any hope of medical treatment.

Article 73 of the Labor Law of the People’s Republic of China stipulates that “workers shall enjoy social insurance treatment according to law…including retirement, falling ill or suffering job-related injuries…”

Both women were kicked out by their respective employers after they lost the ability to work, and neither the factories, nor society at large, nor the government, has taken any responsibility for their cases. ( …… more details from Radio free Asia…… )

Posted in China, Economy, employment, Guangdong, Health, Law, Life, News, People, Rural, SE China, Social, sweatshop, Women, Worker | Comments Off on Rural Women Migrant Workers Shut Out of China’s Economic Boom

China: Foreman in Kiln sentenced to death for killing Slave Labor

Posted by Author on July 17, 2007


By Daniel Schearf, VOA News, Beijing, 17 July 2007-

One man has been sentenced to death and at least one other has been given a life sentence in the sensational case of slave labor in northern China.  As Daniel Schearf reports from Beijing, the case uncovered a huge problem in official neglect of forced and child labor.

The sentences were handed down by the Intermediate People’s Court in China’s Shanxi province.  A foreman named Zhao Yanbing was sentenced to death for killing a worker who was enslaved at the brick kiln where Zhao worked.

Zhao’s supervisor, Heng Tinghan, was convicted of beating and enslaving workers, and sentenced to life in prison.  Wang Bingbing, the owner of the kiln and the son of a local Communist Party village chief, was given nine years for illegally detaining workers.

The court said Heng had used agents to recruit workers at train stations with false promises.  Instead of a decent job with good pay, the workers were forced to work up to 18 hours a day with little food and water.  They slept in unsanitary and crowded rooms and were routinely beaten.

The case received widespread publicity inside and outside China and officials at the highest level condemned the situation.  The political importance attached to the case was indicated when the deputy head of the Shanxi provincial high court, Liu Jimin, announced the verdicts on live state television.

Liu said the situation had harmed social order.

“Only by dealing with this severely and according to law … can we face up to such crimes and safeguard citizens’ lives, health and right to freedom, and protect social stability,” Liu said.

The official China Daily newspaper reported that 26 other overseers at the kiln were given prison sentences, but did not elaborate.

The forced labor scandal gained attention after 400 fathers posted a letter on the Internet saying their children had been kidnapped and sold into forced labor at brick kilns in Shanxi and Henan provinces.  The men said they had sought help from local officials and police, but were ignored.

Since the case came to light, the government has mounted a massive search-and-rescue campaign in the region and freed hundreds from forced labor in brick kilns and coal and iron mines.

Twenty-nine children, some as young as eight, have been found working at the kilns.  Chinese media reports say there may be a thousand or more children still working in slave-like conditions.

China’s official Xinhua News Agency says 95 party officials and civil servants have been punished and 33 officials have been fired for not preventing the forced labor.

– original report from VOA News : China Kiln Worker Sentenced to Death in Slave Labor Case

Posted in Asia, Central China, Child Labour, China, corruption, Economy, employment, Law, News, People, Politics, Rural, Slave labour, Social, sweatshop, Worker, World | Comments Off on China: Foreman in Kiln sentenced to death for killing Slave Labor

CHINA: Child Labour Scandal Exposes Gross Corruption

Posted by Author on June 18, 2007


By Antoaneta Bezlova, Inter Press Service (IPS), Italy, Jun 18, 2007-

BEIJING, Jun 18 (IPS) – An unfolding national scandal on the large-scale abuse of child labourers in the brick kiln industry raises questions on the adequacy of planned labour laws that are supposed to take on sweatshops and protect workers’ rights.

The first signs of the scandal surfaced early June when local newspapers carried a staggering photograph of a group of migrant workers freed after more than a year of slave labour in a brick kiln in central China.

By the standards of the Chinese state-sanctioned press, which frowns on sensationalism, the photograph was more than shocking — it showed people who were bruised, wounded and burnt, with clear signs of malnutrition and dazed expressions of disbelief at their sudden freedom.

Yet, the story accompanying the photograph was even more astounding in a country where the ruling Communist Party was swept to power for its pledges to create a workers’ paradise.

The 32 migrants had been duped into believing that they were being offered paid jobs, but once inside the brickworks in the Caosheng village of Shanxi province they were forced to work under the watch of guards and dogs for 18 hours a day. None received any money for the whole time of their enslavement and they survived only on water and steamed rolls of bread.

When a police raid freed the migrants late last month it was discovered that one man had been beaten to death with a hammer. Among the others, eight were so traumatised that they could only remember their names. All had burns on their hands and bodies from having to carry the hot bricks without protection. Their clothes had been reduced to rags and “the grime on their bodies was so thick it could be scraped off with a knife,” said the report in the Shanxi Evening News.

The brick kiln was operated by a foreman identified as Heng Tinghan, but owned by the son of the local Communist Party chief. According to local villagers, the brickworks were illegal but still allowed to operate with the tacit agreement of the local police and officials because the party boss’s son owned them.

The extraordinary revelations were followed by an open letter circulated on Chinese Internet fora, alleging that at least 1,000 children aged between eight and 16 years have been enslaved in the illegal brick kilns in Shanxi province.

The letter, signed by 400 fathers from the central province of Henan, pleaded for help in their self-organised campaign to rescue the kidnapped children. It said the children had been kidnapped or forced into cars in urban Henan centres such as the capital Zhengzhou, then sold to factory bosses for about 500 yuan (65 US dollars) each.

Henan borders Shanxi province whose rugged terrain was once used by Mao Zedong’s military strategists to hide thousands of factories churning out arms and ammunition in the late 1960s. Many of these caves now house illegal brick kilns, according to Henan fathers, where kidnapped children and migrants worked in horrific conditions.

“The places those children lived in were worse than dog kennels,” Chai Wei, a Henan father who had managed to enter several dozen brickworks in search for his missing son, told the ‘Xinjingbao’ newspaper. “There were no beds — they slept on wooden planks, and the walls were covered in excrement. We were scared stiff by what we saw.”

Chai had spearheaded the rescue efforts of nearly one hundred parents who pooled money to hire a car and go around the brickworks in Shanxi. Their search had managed to salvage around 100 children, Chai said, but there were hundreds more. His 17-year-old son, who disappeared from Zhengzhou in April, has not been found yet.

“We got no help whatsoever from the local police,” Chai complained bitterly. “Many of the local police are close to the kilns’ owners and would warn them ahead if a search party was coming. We learned not to rely on them (the police) but to tour the kilns one by one ourselves.”

The discovery of provincial webs of slave labour was made public just as China is preparing to adopt a new labour law which has been deliberated by legislators for many months. The new law aims to crack down on sweatshops and workers’ abuses by giving state-controlled unions real power for the first time since Beijing introduced market reforms in the 1980s.

Over the last ten years China’s economy has been growing at double-digit rate thanks to the labour of millions of migrant workers churning out goods for export in exchange for low wages. But, as the economy boomed labour disputes multiplied. More and more workers have gone to court or taken to the streets to protest poor working conditions and overdue pay.

The government has described the new legislation as a fresh attempt to improve worker protection and stop labour abuses. But it is not clear how effective it would be in this vast country where many local officials tend to ignore or skirt directives from the central government.

Workers’ advocates argue that enforcement powers would be improved only if Beijing allows independent labour unions.

“With no supervision or advocacy from the collective power of labour, laws and central government resolutions will not be respected or administered,” says Cai Chongguo, labour rights expert with the Hong Kong-based China Labour Bulletin.

After all, China already has a labour law and a law on protection of minors, but neither could prevent the forced labour scandal in Shanxi, noted a signed commentary by the Xinhua News Agency on Sunday.

“The reason why such flagrant crimes were committed in the brick kilns of Shanxi is that businessmen and local officials worked hand-in-glove,” the commentary said.

The ‘China Youth Daily’ went even further, calling the uncovered slavery a “shocking disgrace”, exposing officials’ dereliction of duty. “When a law is massively undercut in its implementation so that it becomes a worthless piece of paper, then it’s necessary to rethink the law itself,” the paper said. (END/2007)

original article from IPS

Posted in Asia, Central China, Child Labour, Children, China, corruption, Economy, employment, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Report, Rural, Shanxi, Slave labour, Social, sweatshop, Worker | Comments Off on CHINA: Child Labour Scandal Exposes Gross Corruption

31 Slave Labors Rescued From China Factory Owned By Son of Official

Posted by Author on June 10, 2007


By Michael Bristow, BBC News, Friday, 8 June 2007-Slaves, China

( BBC News, Beijing)- Thirty-one dirty and disorientated workers have been rescued from a brickwork factory in China, where they were being held as virtual slaves.

(photo from BBC website)

Eight workers were so traumatised by their experiences that they were only able to remember their names.

The labourers had to work unpaid for 20 hours at a time, and were only given bread and water in return.

The brickworks, in the poor inland province of Shanxi, is owned by the son of the local Communist Party secretary.

Local police told the BBC that the owner, Wang Binbin, had been arrested, and that his father, Wang Dongji, was under investigation.

Several other people have also been arrested, although the foreman is still on the run.

Harsh regime

According to a report in the Beijing News, citing the Shanxi Evening News, the rescued workers had been duped into working at the factory.

Once there, they faced a harsh regime. One man was even reported to have been beaten to death with a hammer, because he did not work fast enough.

When police raided the brickworks they discovered foul-smelling workers who had been wearing the same clothes for a year.

They had no facilities to wash, and they had not had their hair cut or brushed their teeth.

“The grime on their bodies was so thick it could be scraped off with a knife,” the Beijing News said.

They had burns over their bodies after being made to carry bricks that had not cooled down properly.

Police are now arranging for the workers to get the wages they should have been paid, and then they will send them home, although the eight disorientated workers cannot remember where that is.

Local people said the brickworks, near Linfen, would have been closed down a long time ago had it not been for the protection of the party secretary.

China has tens of millions of migrant workers.

They leave their rural homes in search of work, but often have to endure harsh conditions, bad treatment and low pay.

There is little they can do about their lot, particularly when, as in this case, factory owners are protected by powerful local officials.

– original report from BBC News: ‘Slaves’ rescued from China firm

Posted in Central China, China, corruption, Economy, employment, Human Rights, Law, Life, News, People, Rural, Slave labour, Social, sweatshop, Worker | 2 Comments »

Official Sentenced To Death, China Food Safe Now?

Posted by Author on June 3, 2007


A hot news on Internet is China’s former head of the State Food and Drug Administration, Zheng Xiaoyu, was sentenced to death, because of “taking bribes and of dereliction of duty”.

Then, will there be less corruption officials and China’s food will be safer than before? definately NOT.

1. One death sentence won’t stop corruption.

China’s anti-corruption campaign has happend for many years. With the campaign ongoing, there’s more and more corrupt officials came out with higher amount value of bribery every day.

2. Punish official won’t make food safer.

China attract the world by it’s low price strategy. To make the price lower, many products are made in sweatshops ( stories in here , here, and here ) and labore camps ( story 1, story 2), that’s where the un-safe products are usually make in.

If the sweatshops and labore camps are exist, the products won’t be safe any way.

Posted in China, corruption, Economy, Food, Health, Labor camp, Law, Life, News, Official, pollution, Social, sweatshop, Worker | Comments Off on Official Sentenced To Death, China Food Safe Now?

German Parliament Resolution Condemns China Labour Camps

Posted by Author on May 19, 2007


By Ben Hurley and Renate Lilge-Stodieck, Epoch Times, May 15, 2007-

Click on following link to find:

THE FULL TEXT OF THE RESOLUTION
Translated by The Epoch Times

Condemning China’s Slave Labor Camps

A German resolution has called on the Chinese regime to close its slave labor camps, despite threats of cooling relations between the countries. The resolution was passed last Thursday by a large majority in the German parliament’s Lower House.

“The Soviet Gulag system is of the past, yet a system that is equally suppressive and inhuman is carried out against the citizens of the People’s Republic of China (PRC),” reads the resolution, drafted by members of the Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU), the Free Democratic Party (FDP), the Social Democratic Party (SPD), and the Green Party.

The resolution said that many were sentenced to such camps after a “minor infraction or misdemeanor,” while others were sentenced without any legal process, including “Tibetans, Mongolians and Uighurs, and religious minorities, especially Falun Gong followers.”

It also says that the camp inmates are forced to labor in poor conditions as long as 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, often manufacturing products for export. Torture is common and suicide rates are high.

The practice of “political brainwashing” still takes place in “over 1000 prisons, labor camps, and so-called psychiatric clinics,” according to the resolution.

The resolution says the Lower House of the German Parliament “requests that the German federal government continue to condemn the conditions” in the slave labor camps and “requests that the PRC close these facilities.”

German media reported that supporters of the resolution disregarded threats from the Chinese Embassy that relations between the two countries might suffer. “The Lower House of the German Parliament does not bow to anyone’s threats,” said Lower House member Erika Steinbach, according to Berlin’s Die Tageszeitung newspaper.

Extreme human rights violations “under international law … fall under our jurisdiction, and this is by no means meddling in the internal affairs of a country,” said Lower House parliamentarian Christoph Straesser, during the debate on the resolution.

The resolution also draws attention to organ harvesting allegations addressed in a joint report on organ harvesting in China by former Canadian Secretary of State David Kilgour, and international human rights lawyer David Matas.

“An especially shocking outgrowth of this system bothered our minds over and over again during the past months—namely the thriving organ harvesting,” said Steinbach, during the debate.

To stop this practice, one of the Kilgour-Matas report’s top recommendations is that all PRC detention facilities be opened for inspections by the Red Cross or other concerned international organizations.

“The reports [of organ harvesting] we heard sound almost unbelievable,” said Thilo Hoppe from the Green Party. “We have to be extremely careful when training doctors—as there is a German-Chinese cooperation agreement in this field. We need to assure that we don’t become unwitting accomplices in the illegal organ harvesting.”

Released in July last year and revised in January 2007, the Kilgour-Matas report presents 33 points of evidence pointing to systematic organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners in China, calling it “a grotesque form of evil which … would be new to this planet.”

THE FULL TEXT OF THE RESOLUTION
Translated by The Epoch Times

Condemning China’s Slave Labor Camps

Click on the webpage link above to find it at the bottom of the popup page.

Posted in China, Economy, Europe, Human Rights, Labor camp, Law, News, Organ harvesting, Politics, Social, sweatshop, Trade, World | Comments Off on German Parliament Resolution Condemns China Labour Camps

The “China Price” and Weapons of Mass Production

Posted by Author on March 3, 2007


By Peter Navarro, Sample Chapter of the book The Coming China Wars, provided courtesy of Financial Times, published on InformIt.com wbsite, Mar 2, 2007-

The China Price. They are the three scariest words in U.S. industry. Cut your price at least 30% or lose your customers. Nearly every manufacturer is vulnerable—from furniture to networking gear. The result: a massive shift in economic power is underway.
—Business Week1

China has an official policy for the economy to grow at 7%–8% per year, the rate which the ruling mandarins calculate is needed to create about 15 million new jobs a year, to absorb new entrants into the labor market and discards from the shrinking state sector. Every policy, from the value of the Chinese currency to the delay in closing an unsafe coal mine, is calibrated to ensure that economic output continues to expand at this rapid pace.
—Financial Mail2

Since 1980, China’s Adam Smith-on-steroids economy has grown by almost 10% a year—doubling an astonishing three times. During its ascent, China has far outperformed Japan’s 1980s “economic miracle.” It has also run circles around the vaunted “Four Dragons”—Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore—even in their economic heydays.

Any complete understanding of the Coming China Wars must begin with this observation: China’s hyper-rate of economic growth is export driven; and the ability of the Chinese to conquer one export market after another, often in blitzkrieg fashion, derives from their ability to set the so-called China Price.

The China Price refers to the fact that Chinese manufacturers can undercut significantly the prices offered by foreign competitors over a mind-bogglingly wide range of products and services. Today, as a result of the China Price, China produces more than 70% of the world’s DVDs and toys; more than half of its bikes, cameras, shoes, and telephones; and more than a third of its air conditioners, color TVs, computer monitors, luggage, and microwave ovens. The country also has established dominant market positions in everything from furniture, refrigerators, and washing machines to jeans and underwear (yes, boxers and briefs).

Given China’s demonstrated ability to conquer one export market after another, the obvious question is this: How has China been able to emerge as the world’s “factory floor”? The answer lies in China’s primary “weapon of mass production”—the China Price. The nine major economic “drivers” of the China Price are as follows:

* Low-wage, high-quality work by a highly disciplined, educated, and nonunion work force
* Minimal worker health and safety regulations
* Lax environmental regulations and enforcement
* The supercharging, catalytic role of foreign direct investment (FDI)
* A highly efficient form of industrial organization known as “network clustering”
* An elaborate, government-sanctioned system of counterfeiting and piracy
* A chronically undervalued, “beggar thy neighbor” currency
* Massive government subsidies to numerous targeted industries
* “Great Wall” protectionist trade barriers, particularly for “infant industries”

In analyzing the nine key economic drivers, I show you that only one—network clustering—is truly legitimate from the perspective of a global economic system that is supposed to be based on free and fair trade. Each of the other eight China Price drivers violate one or more of the many “rules of the trading road” that have been established by organizations such as the World Trade Organization and treaties such as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade or that are embodied in international labor and environmental standards.

The broader point that should emerge from the foundation chapter is that by engaging in a comprehensive set of unfair trade policies and by wielding its primary “weapon of mass production,” the China Price, China is enjoying unprecedented rates of export-driven economic growth—and thereby trouncing the competition in global markets. In the process, China is effectively sowing the economic seeds of the Coming China Wars with the rest of the world. And, in the worst “wars from within” scenario, China is also setting itself up for its own environmental, political, and social destruction.

Low Wages for High-Quality Work

What is stunning about China is that for the first time we have a huge, poor country that can compete both with very low wages and in high tech. Combine the two, and America has a problem.
—Professor Richard Friedman, Harvard University

It is difficult to estimate accurately wage levels in China because much of the data is of poor quality. In addition, the government wants to hide the fact that numerous companies illegally pay their workers far less than the stated minimum wage.

Estimates that do exist put the average hourly earnings well below a dollar. Interesting, however, is that in many other countries, wages are as low or even substantially lower than in China. These countries, scattered all over the world, range from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua in Latin America and Bangladesh and Pakistan on the Indian subcontinent to Burma, Cambodia, and Vietnam in Southeast Asia. Despite their lower wages and often equally wretched working conditions, none of these countries can compete effectively with China. One important reason is simply that manufacturers in China get a lot more productivity bang out of the wage buck. Chinese workers are relatively better educated and, more important, far more disciplined than the workers found in the poor barrios of Caracas or Rio de Janeiro or the slums of Soweto or Lesotho. This means that dollar for dollar and yuan for yuan, China can provide higher-quality, more-disciplined workers; on a productivity-adjusted basis, their workers are highly competitive with virtually every other country in the world.

There is, however, a far more subtle part of this wage story—one that seeks to answer the question: How is it that year after year, indeed decade after decade of record economic growth, Chinese wages do not really rise much? Or to put it another way, how can Chinese manufacturers continue to pay such low wages for a high-quality work force in the face of rapid growth that in other countries would quickly tighten the labor market and cause wages to spike?

At least part of the answer lies in one of the great ideological, economic, and darkly comic ironies of our time. In a country that was built on a foundation of Marxist doctrine, there exists the largest “reserve army of the unemployed” ever created in human history. In this regard, one of the central tenets of Marxist theory is that the exploitation of workers by capitalists is made possible because capitalism will always generate significant unemployment. The inevitable presence of this “reserve army” of unemployed workers will always depress wages and allow the capitalists to exploit their workers in other ways, too (for example, poor working conditions).

On this count, and at least at this time in China’s history, Karl Marx got it absolutely right. The size of China’s reserve army is breathtaking and, at least on first hearing, almost unbelievable. This reserve army of surplus labor numbers significantly more than a hundred million workers. To put this in perspective, this means that China has almost as many unemployed and underemployed workers as America employs in total.4

Now, here is what is perhaps most interesting about this surplus labor: Despite two decades of double-digit GDP growth, China’s reserve army continues to grow, not shrink. The next question is how this huge pool of surplus labor that so effectively depresses wages and benefits in China got to be so large—and why it continues to grow. The answer may be found in four important elements that explain China’s labor market advantage: continued population growth in the world’s most populous country; a massive privatization of the work force that has cast off tens of millions of industrial workers from the security of the “iron rice bowl” system; a government-decreed, rapid urbanization that is moving hundreds of millions of farmers into Chinese factories; and a system, in many cases, of quasi-slave labor facilitated by the outlawing of labor unions. …… ( more details from InformIt.com )

Posted in China, Economy, employment, Environment, Health, Law, Life, Made in China, News, People, Report, Social, sweatshop, Trade, Worker, World | Comments Off on The “China Price” and Weapons of Mass Production

Book to read: The Coming China Wars

Posted by Author on March 2, 2007


InformIt.com-

Name of the book: Coming China Wars, The: Where They Will Be Fought and How They Can Be Won
Author: Peter Navarro.
Published by: Financial Times Prentice Hall.
ISBN-10: 0-13-228128-7;
ISBN-13: 978-0-13-228128-7;
Published: Oct 19, 2006; Copyright 2007;
Dimensions 6×9;
Pages: 288;
Edition: 1st.

Book Description

China’s breakneck industrialization is placing it on a collision course with the entire world. Tomorrow’s China Wars will be fought over everything from decent jobs, livable wages, and leading-edge technologies to strategic resources such as oil, copper, and steel…even food, water, and air.

In The Coming China Wars, best-selling author Peter Navarro previews all these potential conflicts—and reveals the urgent, radical decisions that must be made to avoid catastrophe.

You’ll learn how China’s thirst for oil is driving nuclear proliferation in Iran, genocide in the Sudan, even Japan’s remilitarization. You’ll discover China’s shocking role in the drug trade and how its reborn flesh trade may help trigger tomorrow’s worst AIDS crisis.

Navarro also reveals how China has become the world’s most ruthless imperialist…how it is promoting global environmental disaster… and, perhaps most terrifying of all, how this nuclear superpower and pirate nation may be spiraling toward internal chaos.

The threat is real. We all must come to understand it and then act! Start here and now by arming yourself with the information and insights of The Coming China Wars.

The “China Price”: Conquering the world’s export markets

The real story behind China’s “weapons of mass production”

China versus U.S.: The “blood for oil” flashpoints

The coming U.S./China showdown over oil

Pirate Nation: China’s state-sanctioned thievery

How China’s counterfeit drugs and products can literally kill you

Triggering tomorrow’s worst AIDS crisis

China’s 21st century flesh trade: The seeds of a global health disaster

Comments:

“Peter Navarro has captured the breadth of areas where China and the United States have fundamental conflicts of business, economic and strategic interests. He puts this into a global context demonstrating where China’s current development course can lead to conflict. His recommendations for nations to coalesce to respond to the challenges posed by China are practical. This book should be in the hands of every businessperson, economist and policy-maker.”
–Dr. Larry M. Wortzel, Chairman, US-China Economic and Security Review Commission

“The Coming China Wars is a gripping, fact-filled account of the dark side of China’s rise that will be of interest to anyone interested in this complex and fascinating country. Navarro makes no pretense toward searching for the middle ground in the China debate. He issues a call to arms for China and the rest of the world to act now to address the country’s mounting problems–pollution, public health, intellectual property piracy, resource scarcity and more–or risk both serious instability within China and military conflict between China and other major powers.”
– Elizabeth C. Economy, C.V. Starr Senior Fellow and Director of Asia Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

“What Al Gore does for climate change, Peter Navarro does for China. This book will hit you right between the eyes. A gargantuan wake-up call.”
– Stuart L. Hart, S.C. Johnson Chair of Sustainable Global Enterprise, Cornell University, Author of “Capitalism at the Crossroads”

“This is a well researched and illuminating book and is a necessary counter to a large body of opinion that posits an inevitable and even peaceful rise of China and chooses to ignore most of the author’s message.”
– Richard Fisher, Vice President, International Assessment and Strategy Center

original report from InformIt.com

Posted in AIDS, books, China, Climate, Economy, employment, Environment, Health, Human Rights, income, Law, Life, News, Opinion, People, Politics, Rural, Social, sweatshop, Trade, Worker, World | Comments Off on Book to read: The Coming China Wars

Disney Sweats Over Sweatshop Charges in China

Posted by Author on February 16, 2007


Venkatesan Vembu, Daily News & Analysis, India, Friday, February 16, 2007-

Shenzhen supplier shuts shop following campaign against labour standards

HONG KONG: For the families of 800 workers at Huang Xing Light Manufacturing factory in Shenzhen in southern China, the Chinese New Year, which begins on February 18, will begin on quite a gloomy note.

That’s because only last fortnight, the factory, which used to supply Mickey Mouse and other Disney memorabilia to Tokyo Disneyland, downed shutters and laid off these 800 factory workers without any compensation.

On February 1, hundreds of dismissed workers staged violent protests outside the factory premises, demanding back-wages and compensation, but were dispersed by security officials.

The closure of Huang Xing came about after Disney, which accounted for over 80 per cent of the factory, pulled the plug on the relationship following damaging revelations by a Hong Kong-based labour activist group about working conditions at the factory.

In a report released in December 2006, Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM), a non-profit agency that works to advance workers’ rights and “monitor” corporate behaviour, revealed gross violations of Chinese labour laws and international codes of conduct relating to work safety and compensation at seven factories that manufactured Disney merchandise in southern China.

That report validated the findings of an earlier report in 2005 from SACOM that had alleged sweatshop-like working conditions in the factories. Occupational injuries were prevalent, the report alleged.

In one factory, an average of three instances of occupational injury were reported every week. In addition, workers were paid far less than the statutory minimum wage, were forced to work longer hours than required under law, and accommodated in unsanitary dormitories.

“Our findings were heartbreaking,” SACOM coordinator Jenny Chan told DNA on Wednesday. “We’d gone to study labour conditions in southern China,” which had by then become the ‘factory floor of the world’ and a pivotal link in the global supply chain of many multinationals. What the SACOM stumbled on was working-class hell.

Those reports helped initiate a consumer campaign of sorts in Hong Kong and elsewhere and focussed media and civil society attention on the poor labour standards in southern China.

SACOM also teamed up with pressure groups overseas – such as the Clean Clothes Campaign – to hold multinationals like Disney accountable on their home turf as well.

The damning reports stirred Disney enough to respond by pulling the plug on the relationship with the supplier — a policy that SACOM criticises as “cut and run”. Says Chan: “This is the worst response to workers’ rights violations. Disney must take responsibility for the labour rights violations carried out by its suppliers.”

Disney, on the other hand, disavows any responsibility for the closure. The company’s Asia regional corporate communications director Alannah Goss said in a statement that Disney had been working with both the licensee and the factory for many months and that “notwithstanding multiple offers by Disney to help the licensee and factory to improve standards, the licensee has chosen to walk away.”’

Chan acknowledges that SACOM’s well-intentioned efforts to protect workers’ rights have had the unintended effect of seeing the workers lose their jobs, and admits that the group has been under “huge pressure” in recent days.

“At one level, what has happened is very sad. But it’s important to bear in mind that Disney is the most important player in the relationship, and it was Disney that failed to correct rights violations in the factories or provide management solutions to the problem. If they had taken our suggestions seriously, this worst-case scenario wouldn’t have happened.”

Adds Chan: “Our objective hasn’t changed. We still want Disney and other corporates to bear their social responsibility and fulfil their obligations to ensure that workers are properly treated and labour laws are followed.”

More recently, SACOM has expanded the canvas of its operations to other labour-intensive manufacturing industries in China, including the electronics and computer assembly factories. The battle against “corporate misbehaviour” in China is evidently far from over…

original report from Daily News & Analysis

Posted in China, Company, Economy, employment, Guangdong, Hong kong, Incident, Law, Life, News, People, Protest, Report, Rural, SE China, Shenzhen, Social, sweatshop, Worker, World | Comments Off on Disney Sweats Over Sweatshop Charges in China

UK Stores Shocked by Conditions in Their China Factories

Posted by Author on February 16, 2007


By Martin Hickman, Consumer Affairs Correspondent, the independent, UK, 16 February 2007-

Clothes and toys on sale in Britain’s high streets are made by Chinese workers forced to endure illegal, exhausting and dangerous conditions, according to a new study. It will increase the pressure on retailers to monitor the conditions in which their products are made.

A three-year investigation into booming export factories for companies such as Marks & Spencer and Ikea discovered the human cost of China’s “economic miracle”. It found an army of powerless rural migrants toiling up to 14 hours a day, almost every day. Many were allowed just one day off a month and paid less than £50 a month for shifts that breached Chinese law and International Labour Organisation rules.

Despite evidence of the shocking working conditions, cheap clothes, toys and increasingly electronic goods from the sweatshops are on sale in British shops with household names, including those with ethical buying policies.

Ethical trading consultants for Impactt, which works with businesses to improve their social impact around the world, were allowed into 100 factories supplying 11 British retailers.

They found that “ethical audits” – the conventional method of checking conditions – were ineffective because of falsification of records. Instead, working hours were cut by improving efficiency, said their report, Changing Over Time, sponsored by the Co-operative Insurance Society.

But even these reduced working hours still exceeded Chinese labour limits, said Rosey Hurst, Impactt’s director. She added: “What has surprised and depressed us since 1998 when we started working in China is that all the efforts of the … companies have made very little difference to the working standards. The response by Chinese factories is to work out how better to cook the books.”

Companies are attracted to doing business in the People’s Republic of China because of its low-tax development zones, cut-price abundant workforce, and totalitarianism. Independent trade unions are banned by the Communist Party.

Assembly-line personnel in free-trade zones in south China operate machinery without safety guards and spray paint with inadequate face masks. They often die in industrial accidents or fromgulaosi, the Chinese term for death from overwork. Workplace death rates in China are at least 12 times those of Britain and 13 factory workers a day lose a finger or an arm in the boom city of Shenzhen.

In a sign of official disquiet, the state-owned China Daily reported in November that a 30-year-old woman, He Chunmei, died from exhaustion after working 24-hours non-stop at a handicraft factory.

The International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers Union fears that multinationals are in a “race to the bottom” in workers’ conditions. Neil Kearney, its general secretary, said: “There’s no such thing as cheap clothing because … the main people paying the price are the people producing it.” Of a factory visit two months ago, he recalled: “There were about 700 workers in this factory. Those workers appeared dirty, raggedly clothed and malnourished. If you had taken some black-and-white pictures they would have fitted not too badly into Dickensian scenes.

“They were sharing 12 men to a room. Literally they had a box to themselves, like the boxes you see in the films of the concentration camps. The washing facilities were a cold water tap on a balcony. The wages were something like … £1 a day.”

Such miserable conditions allow China to undercut developing countries by up to 60 per cent. It now supplies 90 per cent of the world’s toys and one-fifth of Europe’s clothes, though textile exports are soaring. With explosive annual growth of 9 per cent, China overtook the UK last month as the world’s fourth largest economy and is forecast to pass Germany by 2010.

Its transformation from peasant economy to industrial marvel has drawn 100 million peasants to the cities – the largest human movement of people in history. Most of the workers end up in the free-trade factories of the Pearl River Delta. Little publicity emerges about these factories because they are privately run and in Guangdong province, which is 1,500 miles from foreign correspondents in Beijing.

The Chinese authorities acknowledged last month that 80 per cent of private companies “frequently violated” workers’ rights. Mick Duncan, national secretary of the anti-sweatshop campaign No Sweat, said: “There has been an increase in workers’ unrest and rebellion and in strikes and even kidnappings of factory managers and people do not resort to those kind of measures unless they are really forced to. I think that’s an indication of how awful things are.”

The growth in trade with China

By Martin Hodgson

* Figures published this week showed that China’s trade surplus with the rest of the world more than tripled to $102bn (£58bn) last year, as its exports outstripped imports.

* The country’s exports rose by 28.4 per cent to $762bn (£429bn), while its imports rose by just under 18 per cent to $660bn (£371bn).

* China’s biggest trading partner was the European Union, with bilateral trade rising by 22.6 per cent to $217bn (£122bn) in 2005. The US is China’s second largest trade partner, followed by Japan.

* Within the EU, the UK is China’s third largest trading partner, importing £10.6bn of goods from China during 2004, the last year for which the Department of Trade and Industry has published figures.

* China’s principal exports to Britain are IT and telecommunications equipment, clothes, toys, furniture and machinery.

* Figures for December suggest the rate of China’s export growth was beginning to slow, and some analysts predict export growth could drop compared with last year as the US loses its appetite for cheap Chinese goods and the yuan gains value.

* Last year, Beijing revalued the yuan for the first time in a decade, allowing its value to fluctuate within a narrow trading band, but many analysts believe it could strengthen further if China allowed it to trade freely.

original report from the independent, UK

Posted in China, Company, Economy, Europe, Human Rights, Law, Life, News, People, SE China, Social, sweatshop, Trade, Worker, World | Comments Off on UK Stores Shocked by Conditions in Their China Factories

Secrets, Lies, And Sweatshops in China(5)

Posted by Author on December 6, 2006


Cover story, BusinessWeek Magazine, NOVEMBER 27, 2006- (cont’d)

SOME U.S. RETAILERS SAY this evidence isn’t representative and that their auditing efforts are working. BusinessWeek asked J.C. Penney Co. (JCP ) about audit reports included among those the magazine reviewed that appear to show falsification of records to hide overtime and pay violations at two factories serving the large retailer. Penney spokeswoman Darcie M. Brossart says the company immediately investigated the factories, and its “auditors observed no evidence of any legal compliance issues.”

In any case, the two factories are too small to be seen as typical, Penney executives argue. The chain has been consolidating its China supply base and says that 80% of its imports now come from factories with several thousand workers apiece, which are managed by large Hong Kong trading companies that employ their own auditors. Quality inspectors for Penney and other buyers are at their supplier sites constantly, so overtime violations are hard to hide, Brossart says.

Chinese factory officials say, however, that just because infractions are difficult to discern doesn’t mean they’re not occurring. “It’s a challenge for us to meet these codes of conduct,” says Ron Chang, the Taiwanese general manager of Nike supplier Shoetown Footwear Co., which employs 15,000 workers in Qingyuan, Guangdong. Given the fierce competition in China for foreign production work, “we can’t ask Nike to increase our price,” he says, so “how can we afford to pay the higher salary?” By reducing profit margins from 30% to 5% over the past 18 years, Shoetown has managed to stay in business and obey Nike’s rules, he says.

But squeezing margins doesn’t solve the larger social issue. Chang says he regularly loses skilled employees to rival factories that break the rules because many workers are eager to put in longer hours than he offers, regardless of whether they get paid overtime rates. Ultimately, the economics of global outsourcing may trump any system of oversight that Western companies attempt. And these harsh economic realities could make it exceedingly difficult to achieve both the low prices and the humane working conditions that U.S. consumers have been promised. (END)

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Secrets, Lies, And Sweatshops in China(4)

Posted by Author on December 4, 2006


Cover story, BusinessWeek Magazine, NOVEMBER 27, 2006- (cont’d)

THE FAIR LABOR ASSN. released its own study last November based on unannounced audits of 88 of its members’ supplier factories in 18 countries. It found an average of 18 violations per factory, including excessive hours, underpayment of wages, health and safety problems, and worker harassment. The actual violation rate is probably higher, the fla said, because “factory personnel have become sophisticated in concealing noncompliance related to wages. They often hide original documents and show monitors falsified books.”

While recently auditing an apparel manufacturer in Dongguan that supplies American importers, the corporate compliance manager says he discussed wage levels with the factory’s Hong Kong-based owner. The 2,000 employees who operate sewing and stitching machines in the multi-story complex often put in overtime but earn an average of only $125 a month, an amount the owner grudgingly acknowledged to the compliance manager doesn’t meet Chinese overtime-pay requirements or corporate labor codes. “These goals are a fantasy,” the owner said. “Maybe in two or three decades we can meet them.”

Pinning down what Chinese production workers are paid can be tricky. Based on Chinese government figures, the average manufacturing wage in China is 64 cents an hour, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and demographer Judith Banister of Javelin Investments, a consulting firm in Beijing. That rate assumes a 40-hour week. In fact, 60- to 100-hour weeks are common in China, meaning that the real manufacturing wage is far less. Based on his own calculations from plant inspections, the veteran compliance manager estimates that employees at garment, electronics, and other export factories typically work more than 80 hours a week and make only 42 cents an hour.

BusinessWeek reviewed summaries of 28 recent industry audits of Chinese factories serving U.S. customers. A few factories supplying Black & Decker, (BDK ) Williams-Sonoma, and other well-known brands turned up clean, the summaries show. But these facilities were the exceptions.

At most of the factories, auditors discovered records apparently meant to falsify payrolls and time sheets. One typical report concerns Zhongshan Tat Shing Toys Factory, which employs 650 people in the southern city of Zhongshan. The factory’s main customers are Wal-Mart and Target. (TGT ) When an American-sponsored inspection team showed up this spring, factory managers produced time sheets showing each worker put in eight hours a day, Monday through Friday, and was paid double the local minimum wage of 43 cents per hour for eight hours on Saturday, according to an audit report.

But when auditors interviewed workers in one section, some said that they were paid less than the minimum wage and that most of them were obliged to work an extra three to five hours a day, without overtime pay, the report shows. Most toiled an entire month without a day off. Workers told auditors that the factory had a different set of records showing actual overtime hours, the report says. Factory officials claimed that some of the papers had been destroyed by fire.

Wal-Mart’s Wyatt doesn’t dispute the discrepancies but stresses that the company is getting more aggressive overall in its monitoring. Wal-Mart says it does more audits than any other company–13,600 reviews of 7,200 factories last year alone–and permanently banned 141 factories in 2005 as a result of serious infractions, such as using child labor. In a written statement, Target doesn’t respond to the allegations but says that it “takes very seriously” the fair treatment of factory workers. It adds that it “is committed to taking corrective action–up to and including termination of the relationship for vendors” that violate local labor law or Target’s code of conduct. The Zhongshan factory didn’t respond to repeated requests for comment.

An audit late last year of Young Sun Lighting Co., a maker of lamps for Home Depot, (HD ) Sears (SHLD ), and other retailers, highlighted similar inconsistencies. Every employee was on the job five days a week from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with a lunch break and no overtime hours, according to interviews with managers, as well as time sheets and payroll records provided by the 300-worker factory in Dongguan, an industrial city in Guangdong Province. But other records auditors found at the site and elsewhere–backed up by auditor interviews with workers–revealed that laborers worked an extra three to five hours a day with only one or two days a month off during peak production periods. Workers said they received overtime pay, but the “auditor strongly felt that these workers were coached,” the audit report states.

Young Sun denies ever violating the rules set by its Western customers. In written answers to questions, the lighting manufacturer says that it doesn’t coach employees on how to respond to auditors and that “at present, there are no” workers who are putting in three to five extra hours a day and getting only one or two days off each month. Young Sun says that it follows all local Chinese overtime rules.

Home Depot doesn’t contest the inconsistencies in the audit reports about Young Sun and three other factories in China. “There is no perfect factory, I can guarantee you,” a company spokeswoman says. Instead of cutting off wayward suppliers, Home Depot says that it works with factories on corrective actions. If the retailer becomes aware of severe offenses, such as the use of child labor, it terminates the supplier. A Sears spokesman declined to comment.

Coaching of workers and midlevel managers to mislead auditors is widespread, the auditing reports and BusinessWeek interviews show. A document obtained last year during an inspection at one Chinese fabric export factory in the southern city of Guangzhou instructed administrators to take these actions when faced with a surprise audit: “First notify underage trainees, underage full-time workers, and workers without identification to leave the manufacturing workshop through the back door. Order them not to loiter near the dormitory area. Secondly, immediately order the receptionist to gather all relevant documents and papers.” Other pointers include instructing all workers to put on necessary protective equipment such as earplugs and face masks. (to be cont’d…)

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Secrets, Lies, And Sweatshops in China(3)

Posted by Author on November 29, 2006


Cover story, BusinessWeek Magazine, NOVEMBER 27, 2006- (cont’d)

A RECENT VISIT by the compliance manager to a toy manufacturer in Shenzhen illustrated the crude ways that some suppliers conceal mistreatment. The manager recalls smelling strong paint fumes in the poorly ventilated and aging factory building. Young women employees were hunched over die-injection molds, using spray guns to paint storybook figurines. The compliance manager discovered a second workshop behind a locked door that a factory official initially refused to open but eventually did. In the back room, a young woman, who appeared to be under the legal working age of 16, tried to hide behind her co-workers on the production line, the visiting compliance manager says. The Chinese factory official admitted he was violating various work rules.

The situation in China is hard to keep in perspective. For all the shortcomings in factory conditions and oversight, even some critics say that workers’ circumstances are improving overall. However compromised, pressure from multinationals has curbed some of the most egregious abuses by outside suppliers. Factories owned directly by such corporations as Motorola Inc (MOT ). and General Electric Co. (GE ) generally haven’t been accused of mistreating their employees. And a booming economy and tightening labor supply in China have emboldened workers in some areas to demand better wages, frequently with success. Even so, many Chinese laborers, especially migrants from poor rural regions, still seek to work as many hours as possible, regardless of whether they are properly paid.

In this shifting, often murky environment, labor auditing has mushroomed into a multimillion-dollar industry. Internal corporate investigators and such global auditing agencies as Cal Safety Compliance, sgs of Switzerland, and Bureau Veritas of France operate a convoluted and uncoordinated oversight system. They follow varying corporate codes of conduct, resulting in some big Chinese factories having to post seven or eight different sets of rules. Some factories receive almost daily visits from inspection teams demanding payroll and production records, facility tours, and interviews with managers and workers. “McDonald’s (MCD ), Walt Disney, (DIS ) and Wal-Mart are doing thousands of audits a year that are not harmonized,” says van Heerden of Fair Labor. Among factory managers, “audit fatigue sets in,” he says.

Some companies that thought they were making dramatic progress are discovering otherwise. A study commissioned by Nike last year covered 569 factories it uses in China and around the world that employ more than 300,000 workers. It found labor-code violations in every single one. Some factories “hide their work practices by maintaining two or even three sets of books,” by coaching workers to “mislead auditors about their work hours, and by sending portions of production to unauthorized contractors where we have no oversight,” the Nike study found. (to be cont’d…)

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Secrets, Lies, And Sweatshops in China(2)

Posted by Author on November 27, 2006


Cover story, BusinessWeek Magazine, NOVEMBER 27, 2006- (cont’d)

CHINESE EXPORT manufacturing is rife with tales of deception. The largest single source of American imports, China’s factories this year are expected to ship goods to the U.S. worth $280 billion. American companies continually demand lower prices from their Chinese suppliers, allowing American consumers to enjoy inexpensive clothes, sneakers, and electronics. But factory managers in China complain in interviews that U.S. price pressure creates a powerful incentive to cheat on labor standards that American companies promote as a badge of responsible capitalism. These standards generally incorporate the official minimum wage, which is set by local or provincial governments and ranges from $45 to $101 a month. American companies also typically say they hew to the government-mandated workweek of 40 to 44 hours, beyond which higher overtime pay is required. These figures can be misleading, however, as the Beijing government has had only limited success in pushing local authorities to enforce Chinese labor laws. That’s another reason abuses persist and factory oversight frequently fails.

Some American companies now concede that the cheating is far more pervasive than they had imagined. “We’ve come to realize that, while monitoring is crucial to measuring the performance of our suppliers, it doesn’t per se lead to sustainable improvements,” says Hannah Jones, Nike Inc.’s (NKE ) vice-president for corporate responsibility. “We still have the same core problems.”

This raises disturbing questions. Guarantees by multi-nationals that offshore suppliers are meeting widely accepted codes of conduct have been important to maintaining political support in the U.S. for growing trade ties with China, especially in the wake of protests by unions and antiglobalization activists. “For many retailers, audits are a way of covering themselves,” says Auret van Heerden, chief executive of the Fair Labor Assn., a coalition of 20 apparel and sporting goods makers and retailers, including Nike, Adidas Group, Eddie Bauer, and Nordstrom (JWN ). But can corporations successfully impose Western labor standards on a nation that lacks real unions and a meaningful rule of law?

Historically associated with sweatshop abuses but now trying to reform its suppliers, Nike says that one factory it caught falsifying records several years ago is the Zhi Qiao Garments Co. The dingy concrete-walled facility set near mango groves and rice paddies in the steamy southern city of Panyu employs 600 workers, most in their early 20s. They wear blue smocks and lean over stitching machines and large steam-blasting irons. Today the factory complies with labor-law requirements, Nike says, but Zhi Qiao’s general manager, Peter Wang, says it’s not easy. “Before, we all played the cat-and-mouse game,” but that has ended, he claims. “Any improvement you make costs more money.” Providing for overtime wages is his biggest challenge, he says. By law, he is supposed to provide time-and-a-half pay after eight hours on weekdays and between double and triple pay for Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. “The price [Nike pays] never increases one penny,” Wang complains, “but compliance with labor codes definitely raises costs.”

A Nike spokesman says in a written statement that the company, based in Beaverton, Ore., “believes wages are best set by the local marketplace in which a contract factory competes for its workforce.” One way Nike and several other companies are seeking to improve labor conditions is teaching their suppliers more efficient production methods that reduce the need for overtime.

The problems in China aren’t limited to garment factories, where labor activists have documented sweatshop conditions since the early 1990s. Widespread violations of Chinese labor laws are also surfacing in factories supplying everything from furniture and household appliances to electronics and computers. Hewlett-Packard, (HPQ ) Dell (DELL ), and other companies that rely heavily on contractors in China to supply notebook PCs, digital cameras, and handheld devices have formed an industry alliance to combat the abuses.

A compliance manager for a major multinational company who has overseen many factory audits says that the percentage of Chinese suppliers caught submitting false payroll records has risen from 46% to 75% in the past four years. This manager, who requested anonymity, estimates that only 20% of Chinese suppliers comply with wage rules, while just 5% obey hour limitations. (to be cont’d…)

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Secrets, Lies, And Sweatshops in China

Posted by Author on November 21, 2006


Cover story, BusinessWeek Magazine, NOVEMBER 27, 2006-

American importers have long answered criticism of conditions at their Chinese suppliers with labor rules and inspections. But many factories have just gotten better at concealing abuses .

Tang Yinghong was caught in an impossible squeeze. For years, his employer, Ningbo Beifa Group, had prospered as a top supplier of pens, mechanical pencils, and highlighters to Wal-Mart Stores (WMT ) and other major retailers. But late last year, Tang learned that auditors from Wal-Mart, Beifa’s biggest customer, were about to inspect labor conditions at the factory in the Chinese coastal city of Ningbo where he worked as an administrator. Wal-Mart had already on three occasions caught Beifa paying its 3,000 workers less than China’s minimum wage and violating overtime rules, Tang says. Under the U.S. chain’s labor rules, a fourth offense would end the relationship.

Help arrived suddenly in the form of an unexpected phone call from a man calling himself Lai Mingwei. The caller said he was with Shanghai Corporate Responsibility Management & Consulting Co., and for a $5,000 fee, he’d take care of Tang’s Wal-Mart problem. “He promised us he could definitely get us a pass for the audit,” Tang says.

Lai provided advice on how to create fake but authentic-looking records and suggested that Beifa hustle any workers with grievances out of the factory on the day of the audit, Tang recounts. The consultant also coached Beifa managers on what questions they could expect from Wal-Mart’s inspectors, says Tang. After following much of Lai’s advice, the Beifa factory in Ningbo passed the audit earlier this year, Tang says, even though the company didn’t change any of its practices.

For more than a decade, major American retailers and name brands have answered accusations that they exploit “sweatshop” labor with elaborate codes of conduct and on-site monitoring. But in China many factories have just gotten better at concealing abuses. Internal industry documents reviewed by BusinessWeek reveal that numerous Chinese factories keep double sets of books to fool auditors and distribute scripts for employees to recite if they are questioned. And a new breed of Chinese consultant has sprung up to assist companies like Beifa in evading audits. “Tutoring and helping factories deal with audits has become an industry in China,” says Tang, 34, who recently left Beifa of his own volition to start a Web site for workers.

A lawyer for Beifa, Zhou Jie, confirms that the company employed the Shanghai consulting firm but denies any dishonesty related to wages, hours, or outside monitoring. Past audits had “disclosed some problems, and we took necessary measures correspondingly,” he explains in a letter responding to questions. The lawyer adds that Beifa has “become the target of accusations” by former employees “whose unreasonable demands have not been satisfied.” Reached by cell phone, a man identifying himself as Lai says that the Shanghai consulting firm helps suppliers pass audits, but he declines to comment on his work for Beifa.Fooling The Auditors

Wal-Mart spokeswoman Amy Wyatt says the giant retailer will investigate the allegations about Beifa brought to its attention by BusinessWeek. Wal-Mart has stepped up factory inspections, she adds, but it acknowledges that some suppliers are trying to undermine monitoring: “We recognize there is a problem. There are always improvements that need to be made, but we are confident that new procedures are improving conditions.”
(to be cont’d…)

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China Slave Labor Floods NAFTA Marketplace With Cheap Goods

Posted by Author on August 23, 2006


by Jerome R. Corsi, HUMAN EVENTS, Aug 21, 2006–

The NAFTA marketplace unrestrained in the pursuit of cheap labor has driven an increasing volume of manufacturing off-shore to Communist China, where slave prison camps offer a cost of labor that is hard to beat.

Chinese made goods ranging from electronics to toys and clothes are daily sold in mass marketing retailers such as Wal-Mart, Home Depot, K-Mart, Target, Lowes, and dozens of other U.S. corporations. Cheap goods from Communist China increasingly line the shelves of the NAFTA marketplace under marquee product trade names that bear no relationship to the Chinese slave labor that manufactured, produced, or otherwise assembled the goods.

Key to this thriving under-market is a flagrant disregard for human rights, on the part of the Communist Chinese, who still permit the exploitation of slave labor. U.S. capitalists and consumers as well turn a blind eye to the human suffering and abuse involved in producing the under-market cheap goods flooding the American retail market from China.

The Chinese slave labor camps set up first under Mao in the 1950s are known as Laogai. Writing for the Human Rights Brief at American University’s Washington College of Law, Ramin Pejan explains that the Laogai system consists of three distinct types of reform: convict labor (Laogai), re-education through labor (Laojiao), and forced job placement (Jiuye). The political nature of these Chinese prison labor camps is clear.

The PRC (People’s Republic of China) uses Laojiao to detain individuals it feels are a threat to national security or it considers unproductive. Individuals in Laojiao may be detained for up to three years. Because those in Laojiao have not committed crimes under PRC law, they are referred to as “personnel” rather than prisoners and they are not entitled to judicial procedure. Instead, individuals are sent to the Laojiao following administrative sentences dispensed by local public security forces. This vague detainment policy allows the PRC to avoid allegations that the individual’s arrest was politically motivated and to assert that they were arrested for reasons such as “not engaging in honest pursuits” or “being able-bodied but refusing to work.”

Pejan notes that even though they have completed their sentence some 70 percent of the prisoners are forced to live in specifically assigned locations where they continue to work in the prison camp. In a cruel slogan that brings to mind the “Arbeit Mach Frei” entrance to the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz, Penan notes that Laogai is an abbreviation for Laodong Gaizao which translates from Mandarin as “reform through labor.” ( details from HUMAN EVENTS)

Posted in Businessman, China, Economy, Labor camp, Law, Made in China, People, Politics, products, Slave labour, Social, sweatshop, Worker, World | 3 Comments »