Green America: Growing the Green Economy for People and the Planet

Hasbro & Disney: Stop Exploiting Toy Workers

Disney and Hasbro, be nice to the workers making my toys

11 hour days. Non-stop shifts in hot facilities with scant water breaks. Chemical handling without gloves or masks. Crowded dorms. Unpaid work. Poverty wages. These are just some of the issues faced by the people who make toys for Hasbro and Disney.

A new report by China Labor Watch (CLW) of toy factories in China, found workers who make FurReal Friends and Nerf Guns for Hasbro and Frozen Dolls for Disney lead anything but playful lives.

Days are long and the work is physical and fast. The fans in the factories do nothing to keep the workplace cool and most days workers are drenched in sweat. Water breaks, however, are only granted twice a day for three minutesfor thousands of workers!

Workers on the assembly line at both plants use industrial alcohol and other harsh chemicals without gloves or masks. At a Hasbro supplier, CLW's investigator observed that while making the FurReal stuffed dogs, workers were constantly breathing in small fabric particles. The hands of other workers in the packaging department were covered with scars, cuts and peeling skin–from the constant friction of packing boxes without gloves. At the Disney supplier, workers in the painting department complained of dizziness, headaches, and nausea. 

Beyond safety concerns, the Hasbro factory has been cheating workers out of wages–perhaps over $1 million USD per year in total–by requiring workers to report to work before their official shift time starts, and sneakily failing to count Saturday shifts as overtime work. At the Disney factory, if workers are even 1 minute late, they are docked half a day's wages. After working 11-hour days, six days per week, most workers still earn between $350 and $480 USD/month–hardly a living wage.

Toy company CEOs, on the other hand, earn tens of millions per year. CLW estimated it would take a Hasbro factory worker nearly 2,500 years to earn the same amount as Hasbroís CEO, and for Disney workers it would take over 7,000 years!

The abuses in the toy sector continue unabated because toy brands like Hasbro and Disney demand the lowest possible production price to maximize profits and returns for shareholders. In 2014, Hasbro reported $415 million in profit. Disney's profits were even greater at $7.5 billion. More than enough to spare to ensure the workers who make their popular toys and games–like Play-doh, My Little Pony, Star Wars toys, and Frozen Dolls–are not being exploited. 

We're calling on Hasbro and Disney to clean up their act as the holiday season approaches. Join us in demanding Hasbro and Disney be nice, not naughty, to their workers.

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