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Table of Contents 1 Preface Wal-Mart and Disney: Another Fire Trap Waiting to Charles Kernaghan 3 7 11 12 16 18 19 20 21 22

Executive Summary Dream International Fire Hazards Hear the Truth Illegal and Abusive Sweatshop Conditions Are the Norm at “Dream International” Extreme Working Hours During Peak Season Legal Wages Company Dorms Are Filthy with Garbage Strewn Everywhere Cafeteria Food Is Awful Phony Corporate Audits Are the Norm

Research was conducted at the Dream International Toy Factory in Shenzhen during the peak holiday production periods — October, November, December — of 2011 and 2012.

December 2012 Author Charles Kernaghan Research Barbara Briggs, Cassie Rusnak, Elana Szymkowiak, Antoinette Carcia, Cara Hagen and Curt Thomas

Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights (Formerly National Labor Committee) 5 Gateway Center, 6F, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 , U.S.A. +1-412-562-2406 | |



Wal-Mart and Disney Another Fire Trap Waiting to Happen By Charles Kernaghan


he tragic fire that raged out of control on Saturday evening of November 24 at the Tazreen Fashion garment factory in Bangladesh resulted in the needless and horrible deaths of at least 112 workers.

work, and padlocked exit gates that trapped the workers. Even if some of the gates had not been locked, the only stairways led down to the inferno — the groundfloor warehouse piled to the ceiling with fabric, yarn, garments and accessories.

Fifty-three workers, and possibly more, were burned beyond recognition and their parents had to bury their children in a common grave. Wal-Mart and Disney garments were being sewn at Tazreen where the fire burned for 12 hours. Tazreen was a deathtrap, a tragedy waiting to happen — with no exterior fire escapes, no sprinkler system, fire extinguishers that did not

Now, just three weeks later, on December 17, 2012, the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights is releasing a new report that places Wal-Mart and Disney smack in the middle of another factory where emergency exits and fire extinguishers are blocked, while piles of flammable fabric, cotton, wool, yarns, thread and shipping materials reach to the ceiling. We are speaking about the Dream International Toy Factory in Shenzhen, China. The workers we spoke with told us that there had never been a fire drill in their crowded dorms. In addition to being a fire trap that could endanger the lives of over 2,000 workers, everything about Dream International is illegal. It is a sweatshop where every single labor law in China is violated, not to mention the International Labour Organization’s internationally recognized worker rights standards. Is this how Wal-Mart and Disney are beefing up their fire safety standards, fair wages and respect for worker rights after the tragedy at Tazreen? If so, they are failing miserably.

Safari Mickey Mouse plush toys made in the Dream International factory. A 10’’ Safari Mickey plush was sold at the Disney Store’s website for $14.95.

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A plush of Tigger from Winnie the Pooh is sold at the Disney Store’s website for $12.

This year, and especially during the holiday season, China will ship over $23 billion worth of toys and sporting goods to the United States, which were made by an estimated three million workers, mostly women, who toil shifts of 12-plus hours in some 8,000 sweatshop factories across China. And this has been going on for well over 20 years. Every year, the American people buy these toys and sporting goods. But isn’t it a little odd that we have never, not even once, had the chance to meet with even a handful of the workers in China who make the goods we buy? We know nothing about their lives — how many hours they work, what they are paid, if their human rights are respected...and what their hopes and dreams are. It is not by chance that we know nothing about the Chinese workers and the Chinese workers know nothing about us. This is how Wal-Mart, Disney and the other corporations want it to be. We are not supposed to know about the grueling overtime hours in China, the dollar-an-hour wages, the miserable and primitive dorm conditions, and the lack of worker rights, religious and political freedoms. There is one way we can stand up for ourselves, and for the workers in China and across the world. You know that corporations like Wal-Mart and Disney enjoy the benefit of all sorts of enforceable laws — intellectual property and copyright laws to protect their trademarks

and designs. If anyone tries to make a knock-off of Mickey Mouse, that person will face some very serious jail time. But if Mickey Mouse is protected, by enforceable laws backed up by sanctions, why is it that the worker who makes Mickey Mouse has no legal rights? The answer is simple, while the corporations have all sorts of enforceable laws to protect their trademarks and products, these same corporations, including Wal-Mart and Disney, refuse to extend these legal protections to workers. Please check out the Decent Working Conditions and Fair Competition Act, which was supported in 20072008 by 175 members of the House of Representatives and 26 Senators, including then-Senators Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. This legislation would prohibit the import, export and sale of sweatshop products in the United States. This would be a wake-up call to Wal-Mart, Disney and the other multinationals. Their sweatshop joyride would come to an end. It is up to the American people to decide. In fact, a Harris Poll showed that over 75 percent of Americans supported this legislation! We, the American people, need to take back our economy and remake it with a human face.

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Executive Summary •

In the tragic fire at the Tazreen Fashion garment factory — where Wal-Mart and Disney garments were sewn — over 112 workers were killed on November 24, in a deathtrap with locked exits, as the fire raged out of control for over 12 hours.

Just three weeks later, the Institute has found Wal-Mart and Disney garments being made in another fire trap waiting to happen, at the Dream International Toy Factory in Shenzhen, China, where emergency fire exits and fire hydrants are blocked by piles of materials, toys and shipping boxes reaching the ceiling.

Dream International claims to be the world’s largest manufacturer of stuffed toys.

One worker told us: “If there was an emergency, people could not get out!”

Management forces pregnant women to quit without any compensation.

Constant speed-ups: Once workers are able reach the mandatory production goal of 1,000 pieces in eight hours, management will increase the goal to 1,500 pieces. If workers fail to reach the goal, they must remain working overtime without pay.

Workers earn just $1.39 per hour.

Workers who dare talk back to managers are told, “Get lost if you don’t want to work, you shit.” Managers refer to the workers as “animals.”

Workers need permission to raise their heads during work hours.

It is so dusty in the factory that the workers feel they can barely breathe.

During the peak season, it is common for management to keep the workers toiling from 7:26 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., and sometimes all night. Workers can be at the factory anywhere from 93 to 117 hours a week!

Company dorms are filthy, with garbage strewn everywhere. Eight workers share each crowded room, sleeping on narrow, double-level bunk beds without mattresses. There is no bathroom in the dorm room. There are three bathrooms on the floor and just one hot water spigot. To wash, the workers use small plastic buckets to fetch hot water and then bathe by splashing hot water on themselves.

Cafeteria food is awful: There is rarely any meat. Occasionally, workers can spot a few traces of skin — either meat or chicken — in their bowls. The cafeteria is not clean, and inedible left-over food is scattered across the tables.

Workers told us: “We don’t have anyone to turn to for help.” There are no independent, democratic unions, nor could the workers think of a single Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that had ever reached out to them, let alone helped them.

Phony corporate audits by Wal-Mart and Disney are the norm: Audits are announced in advance, allowing management to fly into action, instructing workers to clean the workshops and reminding them of the model “talking points” they are to recite if they are questioned.

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Valentine Bears made in the Factory.

A tag of a Valentine’s Day toy which was marked as $39.97. We have photo of the tag but not the related stuffed animal.

A toddler’s princess dress from the factory. A purple Disney’s logo appears just under the light blue waist band.

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E.T. Extra-Terrestrial, owned by Universal Studios.

E.T. Plush is sold in Universal Studios’ online shop for $19.95.

Universal Studios label.

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Dream International Factories in China and Vietnam China:

Dream International Limited C & H Toys (Mingguang) Co., Ltd. C & H Toys (Chaohu) Co., Ltd. J.Y. Plasteel (Suzhou) Co., Ltd.


Dream Vina Co., Ltd. Dream Textile Co., Ltd. Dream Mekong Co., Ltd. Dream Plastic Co., Ltd.

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Dream International Dream International (Zhengrun Toy Factory) Fuyong Sanxing Industrial Park Baoan District, Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province CHINA


he Dream International, or Zhengrun Toy Factory, is owned by the Hong Kong-based multinational, Dream International Limited, which was founded in 1992 and has four toy factories in China (including Dream International/Zhengrun Toy) and four factories in Vietnam. Dream International Limited claims to be the largest stuffed toy manufacturer in the world. Stuffed toys account for 93 percent of Dream International’s total production. Dream International also has a branch in the United States:

Dream International USA, Inc. 7001 Village Drive #280 Buena Park, CA 90621-2397 Phone: 1-714-521-6007

Dream International has more than 140 clients in 13 countries, including major markets in North America, Europe and Japan, among others.

International shipping documents show Dream International exporting to Disney, Wal-Mart, Universal City Studios, SeaWorld Orlando, K-Mart, Costco, RiteAid and Build-A-Bear Workshop. Dream International was awarded the “Import Supplier of the Year 2006” by Wal-Mart. Dream International also owns the Caltoy brand, which is sold in the U.S. on Amazon and in Walgreens. In 2008, Dream International signed a licensing agreement with Disney Consumer Products. Dream International also decided to produce more products related to teenagers, such as “items featuring High School Musical and Hannah Montana brands, and sold them to major retailers in the U.S., including Wal-Mart, Target, K-Mart, Toys “R” Us and Walgreens.” In February 2012, Dream International tested its own brand, “Dream, Made to Love, Made to Hug” at the New York City Toy Fair. Dream International is seeking to expand into the high-end toy market. In 2011, Dream International’s annual revenues rose to $139.63 million.

Made-in-China “Caltoy” puppy plush in a Walgreens store in Pennsylvania.

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8 (Image from Walt Disney World.)

A huge pile of “Duffy the Disney Bear” plush toys at the Dream International factory. A 17’’ Duffy plush is sold for $30 in the Disney Store. Below is a photo of Duffy at the Magic Kingdom park in Florida. (Photo from Duffy the Disney Bear.)

A Disney Aristocats costume made in the Dream International factory in China. (Photo from the factory.)

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A half stuffed Disney “Shellie May” at the Dream International factory. Shellie May was introduced by Disney in 2010 and sold exclusively in “Tokyo Disney Sea” in Japan. (Photos from the factory.)

Plush toys of Duffy and his friend, Shellie May, in a Disney store. (Photo from Disney Helper.)

(Image from Tokyo Disney Resort)

A “Tokyo Disney Resort” label. The Tokyo Disney Resort is owned by Oriental Land Co., Ltd. (Photo from the factory.)

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orkers complain that workshops are piled high with materials, toys and shipments ready for export, and many passage ways are blocked. All the toys are made with cotton and wool, which is, of course, flammable. If there were a fire, it would be impossible for the workers to evacuate safely.

Fire Hazard

One worker from the finishing department told our researchers the following: “The fire extinguishers and fire hydrants are blocked by boxes of toys and other materials. Many passage ways [exits] are also blocked. There are a lot of people in the finishing department. It’s very unsafe. If there was an emergency, people could not get out!” Fire fighting facilities are rarely inspected, and workers received no safety training before they report to work. There has never been a fire drill in the workers’ dorms.

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Hear the Truth Have Wal-Mart and Disney representatives ever met and spoke with even one worker at the Dream International Toy Factory? It is time that Wal-Mart, Disney and the other toy brands finally heard the truth. Researcher

Have you worked here long? How do you like the factory?

There are all old women here. It’s hard for us to find a job. We have to work here. Young people are unwilling to work here. They come and they leave. The workload is too much and it’s too tiring to work here. I’m turning 43. It’s hard to find a job. I’m from a rural village without much money. I have to work here. The company started buying social insurance for me after two years of work. They now deduct 109 RMB [$17.50] and 4 RMB [64 cents] for medical insurance. [Note: This is illegal. When workers sign a labor contract, management is required to inscribe them in social and medical insurance within one month of employment.]

Worker A How long have you worked here? Do you work overtime hours?

It’s been two years. I’ve had to work overtime for the last two months. Now I work until 10:30 p.m. every day. Then we go to a piece rate system and we work two more hours of overtime to 12:30 a.m. In the slower season, I still work 60 to 70 hours of overtime a month. [It is common for the factory to be very busy all year round. Even during “slow periods,” workers typically toil 55 to 57 ½ hours a week.]

Worker B

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Why do you work at a piece rate?

I don’t have any choice. Managers tell us to do it and we can’t say no. This way, the company saves a lot of money by not paying overtime wages. Overtime premiums are a bit more than $2.01 on weekdays and more than $2.68 on Saturdays and Sundays. At a piece rate, if we get lucky, we make 7 to 8 RMB [$1.12 to $1.28] an hour, and other times just 3 to 4 RMB [48-64 cents] an hour. The boss of the factory can spend a lot less on overtime pay and still get the production.

What happens if you can’t work the overtime? In the past week, what overtime hours have you worked? Is it the busy or slow period right now?

Unless I do not work overtime at all, my boss makes my life miserable if I skip overtime for a day. Many staff people scold us. They say, if you cannot come in for overtime every day, why don’t you not come to work at all? Now it’s pretty busy. I work overtime until 10:30 p.m. and then work at a piece rate until 12:30 a.m. I work 6 ½ hours of overtime daily from Monday to Saturday.

Worker C

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How many hours do you work during your longest shift?

Fifteen-and-a-half hours. [This is working hours, not including the two meal breaks.]

Do you get holidays off? What’s the overtime premium on holidays?

I get paid a bit more than $2.01 for overtime on Saturdays.

When it gets busy, how long have you worked without any days off?

I’ve worked until 12:30 a.m. every day, Monday to Saturday, and then to 7:00 or 8:00 p.m. on Sunday for more than a month without any days off.

Worker C

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Did you just start working in the factory?

Yes. I’ve been here for less than a month.

Why did you quit your previous job? That factory did not get many orders. We didn’t have much overtime to do. I heard that this factory rushes orders and there’s overtime, so I came here. Which factory do you like better?

Of course the factory I used to work for. It was clean and the work was less frantic. Not like this lowend factory. I’m dirty all over every day I get off work. It’s really dusty in the workshops. The work is very exhausting, but the company doesn’t care. My back is sore every day after work. The company that I worked for bought social insurance for the workers who had worked for one month. This place doesn’t pay social insurance until you’ve been on the job for two years. The only downside of my previous job was that we didn’t get much overtime and we made less money. But we had year-end bonus, full attendance rewards, and position stipends. We don’t have anything here.

Worker D You’ve worked here for such a long time. You’ve got to make more than the newly hired workers? Do you get a bonus?

No! I get paid the same as the newly hired workers. And there is no bonus. If we work for a full year, we get five vacation days. When we take a vacation, we can’t stay in our dorms and can’t work overtime.

Do you have enough to spend? What do you usually spend your money on?

Not enough! Primarily on my kids’ education which totals more than 5,000 RMB [$802.86] a semester. I spend 500 RMB [$80.29] on living expenses; 300 RMB [$48.17] for my parents; 500 RMB [$80.29] on my phone bill, clothes and necessary articles of daily use. Now the cost of living is too high and wages too low. I don’t make enough to spend what I need.

Worker E Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights


Illegal and Abusive Sweatshop Conditions Are the Norm at “Dream International” •

Managers routinely yell at the workers to “work faster. Don’t act like you’re dead and taking your sweet time.” Managers do not beat the workers, but they yell so loudly that the entire workshop can hear them. It is humiliating, but the workers have no choice other than to bite their tongues.

Workers actually need permission to raise their heads during work hours. A female worker sewing panda bear stuffed toys told one of our researchers: “I kept my head down for so long one time that my neck hurt so much I finally raised my head. A manager saw me and immediately started yelling at me. ‘What are you looking at?’ he screamed, ‘Would it kill you if you didn’t look around?” Their heads must remain constantly bent down focused on the toys they are sewing.

Workers must listen to whatever management says, no matter if they are right or wrong. Workers who dare talk back get punished. Management tells them to “get lost if you don’t want to work, you shit.”

Workers are forbidden to talk back to supervisors or managers. If they did so, management would make their lives miserable, constantly picking on them and criticizing them all the time. If supervisors are really angry, they can force any worker to quit. The company has no clear employment regulations. Management can terminate any labor “contract” with employees at any time.

If workers are late to their shift, supervisors tell them “not to bother to come to work at all.” (Of course, they are docked a day’s wages.)

According to the workers, there is no medical room or health clinic. Even first aid kits are nonexistent.

Management forces pregnant women to quit. Maternity leave has apparently never been respected or paid correctly by factory management. Workers confirm that a factory manager talked a pregnant woman into resigning, who left without a cent of compensation. Women workers at Dream International — who make up the vast majority of the workforce — receive no stipends or benefits from factory management regarding maternity leave, marriage, and the death of an immediate family member.

It’s really dusty in the workshops....Sometimes we can barely breathe.

Constant speed-ups: If workers fail to meet production goals set by management, they must remain working without pay until the goal is met. On the other hand, if workers begin to reach their production goal of say 1,000 pieces in eight hours, the very next day management will increase the goal to 1,500 pieces in the regular eight-hour workday. When they cannot reach the goal of 1,500 pieces, they will have to remain for overtime without pay.

Workers report that there are many times they can “barely breathe.” Workers are

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17 constantly handling piles of fabric, wool and cotton, which are used to make the plush stuffed toys. Besides the workshops being crowded and messy, the air in the workshops is thick with heavy dust. The workers know it is harmful for their health. It is so dusty there are times the workers feel they cannot breathe. Some workers get disposable respiratory masks, but not every day. Most workers told our researchers that they “breathe in a lot of dust each day.” •

Workers can use the bathroom just once during their four-hour shift and are prohibited from using the bathroom during the first and last half hour of each shift.

When workers are caught talking at work or fail to meet their mandatory production goals, management scolds and humiliates them, calling them “animals.”

Workers are cheated of health care and social insurance. For example, under law after completing one month of employment, Dream International factory management must inscribe their employees in the mandatory medi-

cal social insurance program. However, factory management blatantly ignores the law and makes its workers wait two years or more before management inscribes them in the medical insurance plan. Medical insurance for migrant workers costs 10 RMB ($1.61) a month, of which the company pays 6 RMB ($0.96) and the employee pays 4 RMB ($0.64.) If the system works as it should, the workers would receive a medical insurance card, or at least an identification number, which will allow them to access limited health care. For example, with insurance workers can get 30 percent off on the cost of medicines. The migrant workers’ medical insurance also covers up to 800 RMB ($128.46) of visits to health clinics or medical centers. Workers can go to the Shenzhen People’s Hospital only when problems cannot be resolved at the medical centers. But more research must be done. Researchers were unable to find any of the employees who actually enjoyed such medical benefits!

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Extreme Working Hours During Peak Season


uring the peak season — especially October, November and most of December — 15 ½-hour shifts are the norm, from 7:26 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., at least six days a week, Monday through Saturday. Management also demands that workers arrive at least 10 minutes before the start of each shift, and that they begin working immediately. Given the three work periods, workers are toiling at least 30 minutes each day without pay, making the total shift 15 ½ hours long. Working 15 ½ hours, six days a week, amounts to a 93-hour workweek. But it gets even worse: If daily production goals are not met, it is common for management to keep the workers working until 11:30 p.m., 12:30 a.m., 1:30 a.m., and sometimes even all night. It is not uncommon for workers to put in an additional two to three hours of overtime, bringing their shift to 17 ½ or 18 ½ hours. At the extreme, these workers could be at the factory 105 to 111 hours in a week. Moreover, some of the most experienced workers are forced to toil a 12 or 12 ½-hour shift on Sunday — generally the workers’ day off — which means some workers could be at the factory 117 or more hours! When workers are required to report to work on

a Sunday, it is generally on the orders of a senior manager. To meet demand, especially during the peak Christmas season, the Dream International Toy Factory has to contract out some of its work to nearby factories. When this happens, to make extra money, some senior managers opt to take in the outsourced work “in house.” When a manager takes over orders that would have been contracted out, he chooses the very fastest workers and forces them to work at night or all day on a Sunday. If the exhausted — and often sick — workers are unwilling to work even more overtime, management threatens the workers that if they do not stay to work, they will be prohibited from working any overtime, whether in the evening or on Saturdays. That would leave the workers with just their base wage, on which they cannot survive. So in the end, workers have no choice but to work the overtime. When senior managers take over the outsourced work “in house,” the workers are paid at a piece rate of a few of cents (0.5 RMB, or 8 cents) per piece and about three to 10 RMB ($0.48 to $1.61) an hour. The workers have no rights, and the law is rarely if ever enforced. Management is in complete control, which every worker can attest to.

Labor Contract In general, management only hires women 18 to 40-plus years of age, and rarely hires men. Most workers sign a labor contract after 10 to 30 days of employment. The contract is generally for five years, with a six-month probation period. When a worker’s contract expires, management will not renew it, and informs the worker that she must resign. Management does not mention the compensation a worker is legally due after working five long years at the factory. Only a few experienced workers know that management must provide compensation when a worker’s contract expires. Management tells these workers to “keep it quiet and don’t speak about the compensation to other workers.”

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Legal Wages 2011 1,320 RMB

Nov. 2011 exchange rate: 6.363 RMB = $1.00 USD

Nov. 2012 exchange rate: 6.2277 RMB = $1.00 USD

$1.20 an hour $9.57 a day (8 hours) Wages

$47.87 a week (40 hours) $207.45 a month $2,489.39 a year

Overtime Premiums

2012 1,500 RMB

$1.39 an hour $11.12 a day (8 hours) $55.58 a week (40 hours) $240.86 a month $2,890.31 a year

Weekday overtime beyond the 8-hour shift: 150 percent

$1.80 an hour

$2.08 an hour

Saturday and Sunday work: 200 percent

$2.40 an hour

$2.78 an hour

* The company often avoids paying the legal overtime premiums by adopting a piece rate during overtime hours.

The company pays no stipends or rewards. Management deducts certain expenses from the workers, which reduces their actual take-home pay to $1.13 per hour. Workers who choose to eat in the cafeteria must pay 120 RMB ($19.27) per month. Dorm utilities cost 50 RMB ($8.03). Medical insurance costs the workers 4 RMB ($0.64), and those who are inscribed in the social insurance program have another 109 RMB ($17.50) deducted from their monthly wages. It is also mandatory that all workers must report for their shifts at least 10 minutes early, to begin working immediately. During the peak season, when the workers are toiling three shifts (morning, afternoon and evening), this means that each worker is robbed of 30 minutes wages at least six days a week — or three hours’ wages. This means that the 2,000 workers at the Dream International factory are collectively being short-changed of $6,000 each week and $30,000 a month during the peak season, especially in October, November and December. During the peak season, workers can earn anywhere from 2,300 RMB ($369.32) to 3,200 RMB ($513.83) a month, which means the workers are earning $85.23 to $118.58 per week. Even during the slow season, there is considerable forced overtime. Workers can earn 1,600 RMB ($256.92) and up to 2,000 RMB ($321.15) per month — $59.29 to $74.11 a week.

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Company Dorms Are Filthy with Garbage Strewn Everywhere


ach dorm building has seven floors with 14 dorms per floor. Each room houses eight workers sleeping on four narrow double-level bunk beds. There are two overhead fans in each room. There is no place to put their toiletries, so workers either use a stool or prop up a narrow piece of wood as a shelf. The dorms are filthy with garbage strewn everywhere. Management pays outside staff to clean the hallways but not the rooms. There is no bathroom or shower in the dorm rooms. On each floor there are three bathrooms and three “shower” stalls. There is only one single hot water spigot on each floor, located on the balcony outside the bathrooms. To wash, workers use small plastic buckets to fetch hot water and “shower” by splashing water on themselves. Supposedly hot water is available from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., but it is

typical for the hot water to run out. Workers told our researchers that they typically have to wait in line for an hour to get hot water to bathe. For such accommodation, each worker is charged 50 RMB, or $8.03, to live in the dorm. Since the dorm was built, no worker can recall there ever being a fire drill. When a researcher asked a worker if her dorm room was large enough, she responded: “No, the room is very small, and there is no bathroom or shower.” One can only imagine how desperate the workers are to bathe, even if it is just with a small bucket of hot water, given that the workers constantly handle fabric, wool and cotton in workshops thick with heavy dust.

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Cafeteria Food Is Awful


orkers describe the cafeteria food as “awful.” The cafeteria serves just two meals a day, lunch and dinner, Monday through Saturday. Despite the fact that there is no food service on Sundays, the workers are still charged six RMB, or 96 cents. Each meal costs 48 cents. Per month the workers are charged 156 RMB, or $25.05, for food. The menu is always the same — cucumbers, potatoes, winter melons, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, carrots and broccoli. Each meal they are allowed a combination of three vegetables. Portions are not

large, but workers can ask for more rice. There is rarely any meat. Occasionally workers can spot a few pieces of skin — either meat or chicken — in their bowls. Very little cooking oil is used. Every meal comes with a thin soup with egg and seaweed. The cafeteria does not look all that clean and leftover food is scattered everywhere on the tables. Workers have to arrange and pay for their own breakfasts and meals on Sunday. Workers can choose to eat in the cafeteria or make their own arrangements outside.

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Phony Corporate Audits Are the Norm


nternational auditors representing Disney, WalMart, Universal Studios and others, have visited the Dream International factory in Shenzhen, but apparently were either unable to find any violations or chose not to make improvements. There is no doubt that the Dream International toy factory is an illegal sweatshop where workers have no voice to improve working conditions. International corporate monitors have visited the Dream International factory, but it is rare for the workers to see them. Even if any workers saw the monitors, they would certainly have no chance to talk with them. This is how the charade works:

Workers Have Nowhere to Turn for Help The workers told our researchers point blank: “We don’t have anyone to turn to for help!” Of course, independent, democratic unions are outlawed in China, especially in the huge export sector. Nor could the workers think of a single Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in their area that ever reached out to them, let alone helped them.

Clients notify the factory in advance when they are coming to inspect the factory.

Management flies into action instructing the workers to clean up the workshops and reminding the workers of the “model talking points” they are to recite if they are questioned.

They must tell the clients that “we never work past 9:30 p.m.”

If they are asked about their wages, the workers are instructed to say “we can’t remember” and “have forgotten the exact numbers.” Everything is arranged so that the clients will find no problems during their audits which the monitors are excellent at.

These toy workers are on their own, without enforceable regulations or laws, no independent unions or NGOs to help them. What makes it even worse is that the corporate monitors representing Disney, Wal-Mart, Universal Studio and others are completely phony.

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Most Married Workers Live Outside the Dorm —Where Their Monthly Expenses Are Higher— • • • • •

Rent for a very small apartment is 350 RMB ($56.20) a month. The phone bill is at least 100 RMB ($16.06.) Food (snacking and occasionally eating out) costs 200 RMB ($32.11.) Basic Food costs for a couple are 700 RMB ($112.40.) Miscellaneous expenditures total 100 to 200 RMB ($16.06-$32.11.)

Staggered Shifts Given that there are over 2,000 workers at the Dream International factory, to avoid confusion, management operates with three staggered shifts which are 10 minutes apart. The first shift is: - 7:26 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. - 11:50 a.m. to 1:06 p.m. - 1:06 p.m. to 5:20 p.m. - 5:20 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

(Morning work shift, 4 hours and 24 minutes) (Lunch break, 1 hour and 14 minutes) (Afternoon work shift, 4 hours and 14 minutes) (Supper break, 1 hour and t10 minutes) (Overtime, 4 hours)

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Wal-Mart and Disney Toys from Hell  
Wal-Mart and Disney Toys from Hell  

Blocked fire exits in another dangerous fire trap, Dream International Toy Factory, China.