From: grvr_pl <paul.garver@verizon.net>

Date: 2008/03/01 Sat PM 02:03:22 CST

To: DSAlabor@yahoogroups.com

Subject: [DSAlabor] Disney still plays Scrooge with young Chinese

workers

In March 2006, four institutional shareholders (New York City

Employees’ Retirement System, NYC City Teachers’ Retirement System,

NYC Police Pension Fund, and NYC Fire Department Pension Fund) filed

a shareholder proposal demanding that Disney end its use of

sweatshops in China.

Since then Disney has failed to resolve labor abuses committed by its

overseas suppliers. It announced the creation of Project Kaleidoscope,

purported to be a pilot training program designed to promote

sustained code compliance at ten Chinese manufacturers of Disney and

McDonald’s products.

However there has been no disclosure of the facilities, suppliers, or

monitoring and training methods involved. In fact a final report on

Project Kaleidoscope, which the Disney Board promised to release in

early 2006, is still not available.

Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM), a Hong

Kong student group fighting for worker rights in mainland China, is

demanding that John E. Pepper, Chair of the Disney Board, disclose

updated information from Project Kaleidoscope.

In September 2005, just before the opening of Disney’s theme park,

Hong Kong Disneyland, SACOM launched its campaign “Looking for Mickey

Mouse’s Conscience campaign.” Since then, SACOM has exposed 11 Disney

sweatshops in the Pearl River Delta region of southern China. Its

first-hand investigations document illegal wage payments, excessive

and forced overtime, illegal non-provision of labor contracts and

social security payments, unsafe production environments, humiliating

management practices, and substandard living conditions.

“Disney continues to deny social responsibility for the conditions of

Chinese migrant workers, predominately young girls, who produce their

merchandise. There is no fairytale ending for overworked Disney toy

workers, who often work up to seven days a week 16 hours a day,”

commented Jenny Chan, chief coordinator of SACOM.

In some printing facilities that manufacture Disney-branded

children’s books, work injuries are almost a daily occurrence.

Hundreds of workers’ fingers are cut off by the dangerous machines.

Factory employers not only require hazardous work, but silence their

workers by forcing them to sign one-sided “agreements” in which wages,

work hours, and benefits are left out. Managers then fill in the

blanks as they see most useful in convincing “social auditors” sent

by Disney that they comply with local law. Since Disney refuses to

share the results of these “audits,” neither the workers nor SACOM

has any way of knowing if corrective actions have been taken.

Disney’s annual shareholder meeting will be held on March 6th in

Albuquerque, New Mexico. SACOM will send the Disney CEO a letter,

already co-signed by many Chinese and international human rights

groups, demanding transparency and compliance with basic worker

rights. Its website is www.sacom.hk

SACOM’s demands on Disney are quite basic and reasonable:

1- that Disney divulge a full list of their outsourcing suppliers (as

Nike and Adidas have already done);

2- that Disney give every Chinese worker in its supplying factories a

copy of a written labor contract (with the blanks filled in!) in

accordance with the new Labor Contract Law;

3- that Disney respect the right of workers to develop democratic

mechanisms of worker representation at all Disney suppliers.

To support SACOM’s letter to Disney, send a message before 6th March

to Jenny CHAN, Chief Coordinator (SACOM)

Email: wlchan@sacom.hk

Website: www.sacom.hk

Tel/fax: (011)852 2392 5463