Labour campaigners accuse Disney of using sweatshop factories

Deutsche Presse Agentur
Published: Sunday September 10, 2006

Hong Kong- Labour rights campaigners have protested outside Hong Kong's Disney theme park accusing Disney of using sweatshop factories in China, a news report said Monday. Workers at three factories making Disney merchandise in China's southern Guangdong province are being paid below the minimum wage and forced to work up to 14 hours a day, according to the protestors.

A report by the Hong Kong-based Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour based on interviews with 50 workers claimed they were paid an hourly wage of 2.19 to 3.14 yuan (27 to 42 US cents) instead of the legal minimum of more than 4 yuan (50 US cents.

Some were forced to work up to 14 hours a day for 30 days a month and all of them are denied overtime pay, the group told Monday's Hong Kong Standard newspaper.

In addition, the group claims, none of the factories offered workers insurance protection against occupational injury or medical and retirement benefits, the newspaper said.

Around 30 members of the action group protested and held up banners outside Hong Kong Disneyland on Sunday.

A Disneyland spokeswoman told the newspaper that none of the merchandise produced in the three factories was sold in Hong Kong but instead went to other Disney theme parks around the world.

Hong Kong's Disney theme park, the first on Chinese soil, opened in September last year and has attracted more than five million visitors in its first 12 months.

© 2006 DPA - Deutsche Presse-Agenteur