As the holiday shopping season kicks in to high gear, many shoppers will be searching for the hottest new toys on holiday wishlists. The world’s largest toy company, Mattel, had revenues of $6.3 billion and profits of $768 million in 2011. Given its profits, it would seem reasonable to assume that such a large corporation as Mattel would treat well the workers who make its products. But a new study uncovered a range of abusive conditions for the workers who make some of the world's favorite toys.
China Labor Watch recently released an investigative report recently that details an array of labor abuse throughout four factories in China that produce Mattel toys. Many of these violations have legal implications, like blank labor contracts, overtime wages 30% below statutory limits, overtime hours of up to six times the legal limit, and a lack of safety equipment when working with harmful chemicals.
In one factory, the investigator, posing as a worker, was required by his superviser to take off his gloves while do spray paint work. The superviser said, "after you wear the gloves, the product rejection rate increases. This is not good. Our factory values efficiency most. You have to take them off. Look, no one else is wearing them.”
(The full report can be found here: http://chinalaborwatch.org/pro/proshow-179.html)
CLW is demanding that Mattel's CEO, Bryan Stockton, and others at Mattel correct illegal treatment of workers immediately and begin instituting the following long-term reforms, like giving factories more time and money to produce, putting the source factory on every Mattel toy, and establishing independent worker hotlines, worker committees, and roundtable discussions in order to give workers a voice.
You can help by signing this petition and sending an email to Mattel's executives!
I have learned that a new series of investigations led by China Labor Watch at four of your supplier factories in China revealed serious violations of the rights of the workers that make your toys. This is not the first time that such violations have been reported at your supplier factories.
I am extremely concerned by the systematic labor violations found in your supply chain in China and of the working and living conditions of the workers that make Mattel toys. I urge Mattel to respond to the following demands, some of which are mentioned in the China Labor Watch report:
- modify Mattel practices by ensuring that the price Mattel pays and the delivery time it allows are sufficient to pay workers a decent wage and to not make them work more than what the Chinese law allows;
- make sure that grievance mechanisms exist at the factory level and workers are adequately trained and informed about their rights;
- publish a full list of Mattel’s suppliers.