Labor Abuses in Toy Factories Highlighted Days Before Thanksgiving



NEW YORK – Today China Labor Watch (CLW) has released the Sweatshop Toy List, which describes the working conditions under which various popular toys are made in Chinese factories. The list is based on findings of a five-factory toy industry investigation published on Friday by CLW. That 123-page report (PDF) detailed 29 violations, at least 21 of which violate Chinese law, in factories supplying to Hasbro, Mattel and Mattel-owned Fisher Price, McDonald’s, Jakks Pacific, Disney, NSI Toys, Battat, MGA Entertainment, and Walmart.

CLW emphasizes that the toy industry has been sourcing from Chinese factories for 20 years. The industry has touted legal and fair treatment of workers since at least 2002. Mattel even published a code of conduct in 1997. Yet in 2015, CLW continues to observe the failure among toy industry leaders to ensure some fundamental legal rights of workers, to say nothing of fair treatment.

Over the next few days, in the run-up to the holiday season, CLW will continue to populate the Sweatshop Toy List with toys actually observed in the factories investigated by CLW. The objective of the toy list is to inform the public about the way in which popular toys continue to be produced by workers that suffer regular rights infringements.

The major toy brand and retail companies have the power to influence and control labor conditions in toy factories, and they must bring fundamental reforms to the conditions of workers making their toys beloved by people around the world. Such reforms include but are not limited to:

· Reduce the use of temporary workers to less than 10% of total workforce;

· Increase workers’ base wages to significantly above the local minimum wage so that workers are not dependent on long overtime hours;

· Adjust production schedules so as to ensure that overtime work is strictly voluntary;

· Ensure that resignation does not require “application” and that resigning workers receive due wages upon exit from the factory;

· Compensate workers for all activities that are a mandatory requirement or duty of a job (including group meetings, training, and required on-boarding procedures);

· Provide workers with more spacious and hygienic housing;

· Ensure that workers receive pre-job that is 1) in accordance with legal requirements and 2) sufficient to educate them on all chemicals or procedures which could pose a risk to their short and long-term health;

· Remedy other legal violations mentioned in this report;

· Let workers elect enterprise-level union representatives who can actually represent worker interests.


The full Chinese report (PDF)





About China Labor Watch


Founded in 2000, China Labor Watch is an independent not-for-profit organization. For more than a decade, CLW has collaborated with labor organizations and the media to conduct in-depth assessments of factories in China that produce toys, bikes, shoes, furniture, clothing, and electronics for some of the world’s largest brand companies. CLW’s New York office creates reports from these investigations, educates the international community on supply chain labor issues, and pressures corporations to improve conditions for workers.

Contact China Labor Watch


(For English)

Kevin Slaten

Program Coordinator


Phone: +001 212-244-4049

147 W 35 St Ste 406

New York, NY 10001

(For Chinese)

Li Qiang

Executive Director


Phone: +001 212-244-4049

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