The hugely popular Disney Ariel Doll has very humble beginnings, and we’re talking about the Chinese workers illegally long working hours for just 1 cent per $44 doll made.
An undercover investigation has exposed the Wah Tung factory in Heyuan, were staff alleged to work 175 hours of overtime in one month.
Excited children across the globe will be asking for the pour n Ariel doll – Disney’s answer to the Little Mermaid.
The upsetting part is Santa’s elves did not make them in the north pole.The dolls were made in the city of Heyuan, by people working to exhaustion and for wages too low to support a family.
According to an investigation published by the rights groups Solidar Suisse and China Labor Watch, in partnership with the Guardian, evidence was found of extreme and illegal overtime, no holiday, sick pay for workforces making toys for Disney.
The Guardian reports:Staff at the Wah Tung factory in the city of Heyuan affirmed that they worked 175 hours of overtime in a month, with only one day off over that period – both violations of Chinese labor law and toy industry codes of conduct.
The basic wage on the line is 7.5 Chinese yuan (85p) – legal, but so low that workers say they feel forced to work overtime.
The investigation, which took place earlier this year, also highlighted a notable gender inequality, with men outnumbering women nine to one in management roles but women making up 80% of the workforce.
Heyuan is a city of roughly 3 million people in Guangdong province, south-east China.[RELATED] Police Bust Massive ‘Legoland’ Pedophile Ring At Disney World It is home to Wah Tung (Heyuan) Toy Manufacturing Ltd, where about 2,000 workers produce a range of mainly plastic toys and electronics.
This is where Disney makes the Princess Sing & Sparkle Ariel doll that sells for £34.99. Many online stores have sold out of merchandise and are awaiting a fresh delivery a few days before Christmas.
At the peak of production, in late summer, as many as 2,400 of the dolls were rolling off the Wah Tung production line each day.
The doll comes with a mane of deep red hair and a glittery tail that acts like a snow globe.
In the last quarter, it helped Disney’s consumer goods division to an acting income of £264m on revenue of £880m.But the investigation discovered that, when costs were broken down, each of the women on the production line was receiving just 1p for every doll produced.
*The investigator joined the Sing & Sparkle assembly line for a month during the summer.
From her own experience and interviews with fellow workers, she found daily overtime ranged between two and five hours and that, with weekends included, overtime would seldom hit 175 hours a month – nearly five times the legal limit of 36 hours.
In low season, workers earned about 2,000 Chinese yuan a month (£228); during peak season, they generally took home about 3,000 yuan.A survey last year put the average Chinese monthly salary at 7,665 yuan.
Workers were demanded to arrive 10 minutes before the commencement of their shifts; numerous reported feeling excessively tired because of the long hours.Photographs from the production lines show workers asleep or sleeping during breaks.
In her diary, the investigator noted:“At 5 pm, the worker behind me said she felt so tired that her back was sore. She wanted to sleep so badly but couldn’t since our shift wasn’t over yet. She wondered why was time to go by so slowly. I said that I also felt the time was going by very slowly. When you’re constantly doing the same thing over and over again, you start to feel dizzy, and your vision becomes blurry.”She also noted that most of her colleagues were women over the age of 45 who were drawn to the work because they were “poorly educated, well-behaved, respectful, and care more about children and family.”