Prior to Halloween, the fancy and joyful Disneyland is enveloped by a dark atmosphere. Witches and zombies replace Mickey and Minnie to become the leading roles in Disneyland. Even the restaurants are selling the “eyeball spaghetti” as a one of their speciality dishes. All these are gimmicks to stimulate excitement of tourists.

No matter how terrifying are the severed arms and fingers inside Disneyland, tourists comprehend these are no more than games to the tourists. In contrast, workers at Disney’s suppliers are working in the “ghost world” day by day. A work shift usually lasts for 14 hours a day, workers may even work overnight whenever there is an influx of order. Workers are frequently exposed to noisy and dusty environments. Nevertheless, no personal protective equipment is provided to workers who are under threat of occupational diseases. Even worse, in order to boost productivity, it is not unusual that manufacturers take away the safety sensor of the machines.

Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM) conducted investigations at 2 Disney’s suppliers, namely Sunny Toys (Shenzhen) Co. Ltd. and Dongguan Crown-Ace Toys Company Ltd. from May to October 2010. Blatant labour rights violations are observed in the two factories, including the followings:

  • excessive overtime up to 160 hours a month, with overnight work, more than four times of the limit stipulated in the Chinese Labour Law;
  • no overtime premium;
  • no rest day in a whole month, or only 1 or 2 days in a month;
  • forced and unfair deduction of salary for housing and food from workers not living in dormitory;
  • lack of proper social insurance for workers; and
  • inadequate protective measures for workers to ensure health and safety in workshops.

The Students Disney Watch (SDW), a China-based student group, had also conducted a research at the production facility of the Hong Kong-owned Kai Yum Machine Made Envelope Factory Co. Ltd during last summer. According to the SDW, a host of labour rights violations is found. Besides excessive overtime and arbitrary deduction of salary, the SDW discovered that a 20-year-old worker’s left arm was amputated due to absence of training in operational safety of a paper cutting machine. Apparently, severed arm is not a trick in Halloween, but a nightmare which haunting the victim forever.

As such, SACOM strongly denounces Disney for its denial of corporate social responsibility. Moreover, it also turns a blind eye to the fundamental legal standards regarding wage, working hour and work safety which are stipulated in Labour Law.

SACOM demands Disney to:

  • rectify the labour rights violations at its suppliers and provide remedies to the workers whose rights are denied. Corrective action plan should be announced for public and worker’s scrutiny;
  • raise the order price so that their suppliers can provide a decent basic wage for workers;
  • deliver the code of conduct to all workers at its suppliers;
  • work with labour NGOs to establish a hotline to receive grievances of workers regarding labour rights violations;
  • invite labour NGOs to conduct basic rights trainings for workers; and
  • set up a genuine worker representative system at each of its suppliers which can defend the rights of workers and improve working conditions.