On 16 May, Hu Nianzhen, a 45-year-old female worker at Sturdy Products (泰強製品廠) jumped from a factory building to end her life after being berated by the management. Sturdy Products produces die-cast cars for Mattel, Walmart and Disney, and is certified by the ICTI CARE Process (seal no. C0283). As with the spate of suicides at Foxconn last year, Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM) questions whether this current case represents an individual, isolated incident, or if it reflects a systemic problem of harsh management. In late June, SACOM conducted off-site interviews with employees of Sturdy Products. Interviewees revealed that their working environment is tense. Furthermore, SACOM’s findings reaffirm that the certification system of ICTI CARE is a sham.

In 2007, SACOM issued a report on Sturdy Products and 3 other Walmart suppliers, titled The Story of Toys Made in China for Walmart. At that time, SACOM documented a series of rights violations including poor work safety, excessive overtime up to 4 hours per day, denial of social insurance, and repression of freedom of association. Four years on, the company has expanded its workforce from about 1,500 to 6,000. There have, however, been no significant improvements in working conditions.

Full text of the statement is available here.