We want to find comparable factories where working conditions are better.
What are the condition of factories where New Mexico State University Campus Story buys its garments with our logo on them and they check to see what are the conditions of labor
Contact if you know where they are.
email: dboje at peaceaware dot com
CURRENTProfessional Development Workshop by Academics Studying Athletic and Campus Apparel proposfor August 4, (Saturday) 2001 in Washington D.C.
CURRENT EVENTS 2008: Nike, Adidas, and other sneaker makers report persistent problems at China factories
Rising Chinese salaries pushes Adidas to look elsewhere: report
Jul 28, 2008 http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5jKGxlQWF7mTO3L8twylAgjrUe8Lw
FRANKFURT (AFP) — Adidas, the second-biggest sportswear company in the world, feels that Chinese salaries are now too high and it will transfer some production to more competitive countries, its chief executive said in an interview on Monday.
"Salaries, which are set by the government, have become too high" in China, Herbert Hainer told the business weekly Wirtschaftswoche.
Chinese production of Adidas sportswear, about half of the group's total, "is going to decline," Hainer added.
"We have already opened our first factory in India. Countries like Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam will be added," the Adidas boss noted.
"Production will also return to former Soviet republics and eastern European countries," but not to Germany, Hainer said.
Mar 30 2008 - An investigation by The Sunday Times into the workers’ pay and conditions has found apparent violations of China’s labour laws and Adidas’s own code of workplace standards. From The Sunday Times March 30, 2008
Adidas workers on £11 a week in China - Staff complain of terrible conditions in the Olympic sponsor's factories
Workers at the factories in Fuzhou accuse the management of cheating on pay, discriminating against young men and stifling a pioneering attempt to set up a trade union.
They have provided documents appearing to prove that they have to work for more than 70 hours a week to earn a living wage, even though Chinese law limits the average working week, including overtime, to 49 hours. Read entire Times Online story
April 20, 2008 -- PUMA Supplier’s unchanged dreadful conditions
Taiway Sports LTD is a Taiwanese factory, belonging to the Taiwan Diamond Group. The factory produces mainly sports shoes and ice skates and exports its goods to Germany, Japan and the US. Its primary client is PUMA.
Address: Xiaobian Industrial District, Chang’an Town, Dongguan City
Contact Number: 0769----5536597
Number of workers: About 4,000, with a male to female ratio of 4:6
Wage and Remuneration
With the inflation in varies of commodities during the past few years, it is difficult for average workers, especially Taiway workers who are required to work extra hour for free, to self-sustain or support a family. In addition to the low paid wages, Taiway also posts varies fines in attempt to cover their cost. In Taiway, workers not folding their bed sheets before going to work will be fined 24 RMB, equivalent to six hours worth of wage.
At Taiway, team leaders and supervisors judge and issue awards to their subordinates not by their work performance, but on their provincial origin. In the factory consisted with employees mostly from Henan and Sichuan province, team leaders and supervisors tend to favor workers who share the same provincial origin as them. Workers working under a team leader whose provincial origin is different than theirs should not expect to receive a fair award or a response for their miscalculated wage. The system has been greatly influenced and corrupted by such discrimination; workers from a province that is weak in numbers at Taiway can only blame their parents giving them birth at a wrong place.
Living and Canteen Conditions
Theft and violence often occurs in the dormitories and work places. Because of theft, many workers who used live in the factory dormitory because of work convenience are forced to rent apartments offsite and pay a significant portion of their wages to avoid their belongings being continuously stolen.
Due to discrimination, workers from Henan and Sichuan have formed their own provincial groups and sometimes fight against each other. Such large scale violence promotes Taiway’s system of discrimination, weakens workers’ desire to work, and endangers the whole factory’s safety. However, without any effective corrective action that would solve the root of the crisis, Taiway now merely rejects all applicants from Henan and Sichuan, thus adding another aspect that contributes to the discrimination at workplace.
Food is an essential element in human’s daily life; the right nutrient enhances immune system, increases durability and the drive to work more efficiently. In Taiway’s canteen, however, workers are viewed as cattle, fed by the lowest quality of food. Many workers expressed that the canteen food tastes like pig food though they have no choice but to continue to eat such horrible food because there are no other restaurants nearby.
Friends, Chinese workers need your help to fight against corporate greed. Please take action now! We sincerely appreciate you help. In Solidarity,
Li Qiang, Executive Director, China Labor Watch
Mar 14, 2008
HONG KONG (Reuters) - Nike Inc (NKE.N: Quote, Profile, Research), the world's biggest sneaker and sportswear maker, said falsified documents, underage workers and unpaid wages were problems encountered at suppliers in China, despite what experts say is one of the top social compliance regimes in the industry.
The Oregon-based company's difficulties highlight the deep roots of some of the problems businesses face in manufacturing in China, particularly at a time of sharply rising costs and a stiffening legal environment.
In its first country-specific supply chain report, which it said focused on China because of the upcoming Beijing Olympics, Nike detailed the efforts it has been making to get suppliers to comply with its code of conduct and Chinese law, including a scheme to monitor Olympics-related suppliers this year.
"As China continues to develop we see progress and best practices emerging. But like our partners in any other country, the factories we contract with in China continue to face challenges as well," said the report, which was released earlier this month on Nike's Web site.
It listed several labor-related challenges, including falsification of factory documents, like payroll records, lack of effective grievance systems for disgruntled workers and hiring practices that did not ensure minimum age standards are met.
The report said China is Nike's largest single sourcing country, with some 180 manufacturers and about 210,000 employees.
Last year, Nike rolled out a scheme to check the identity of some 150,000 of its workers in China, and found 167 cases of people who were below minimum age standards when they were hired but were now 18 or older. Two people were found to be underage.
Wages in some places were not tracking government mandated raises, the report said.
"As multiple factors drive up the cost of business, we find that some contract factories try to avoid making changes to wages in a timely manner," it said.
In 2005 and 2006, Nike "secured" over 6.53 million yuan ($921,300) in back wages owed to workers in China. Last year, it said it recovered more than 500,000 yuan in back pay.
Experts say Nike has been an industry leader in corporate social responsibility. In 2005 it made public for the first time its entire supply chain.
But the problems the Nike report said it was trying to tackle were widespread in China.
Last year, a rights group reported that it had found children working at factories making Olympics bags, caps and stationary.
About one third of Nike shoes are made in China, as is much of the apparel and equipment it sells worldwide.
(Reporting by John Ruwitch; editing by Kim Coghill)
Nike Still Sees China Labor Challenges
By SARAH SKIDMORE – 10 hours ago
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Despite improvements in worker rights laws in China, Nike Inc. says significant problems remain there in working conditions and with managers not meeting Nike's standards.
Problems the athletic footwear and apparel giant listed in its first corporate responsibility report to focus solely on China include inadequate management, excessive overtime and workers using false documents to get jobs.
Nike said it decided to release a country-specific report because the 2008 Olympics in Beijing are attracting so much attention to China.
Nike spokesman Alan Marks said the problems highlighted in the report are "consistent with the problems we face globally."
But the report also states that "corporate responsibility is a relatively new, rapidly evolving business practice in China. Adoption and understanding vary widely."
China is crucial to Nike: Roughly one in three pairs of Nike shoes is made there. The company contracts with 180 manufacturers employing more than 210,000 workers in China, primarily young women who have moved from the countryside into cities for work.
Critics say the report shows continued shortcomings at Nike on labor rights. Labor activist Jeff Ballinger says Nike still positions itself heavily in countries where workers don't or can't unionize or managers won't bargain to meet worker needs.
"They are hanging on to this wishful thinking kind of other world," Ballinger said.
Susan Aaronson, an associate research professor at the schools of business and international affairs at George Washington University, praised the company for the report and commended environmental and other improvements the company made in its business in China. But she said labor concerns will remain serious in China for some time.
"All the incentives are for companies not to enforce the labor laws in China," she said.
After years of foreign pressure on China to improve its labor legislation, the country passed two new laws in 2007 that are intended to improve worker rights.
One that went into effect this year sets higher standards for labor contracts, use of temporary workers, layoffs and other employment conditions. Some hoped the move would encourage independent unionization in the country. Roughly half of Nike's contract employees in China belong to the country's only government-approved union.
A second law expands anti-discrimination protection for migrant workers and those with infectious diseases, two classes of people who had not been protected from bias.
The report shows there are problems at Nike contract facilities, including management not understanding or implementing moves to meet Nike's minimum standards.
Other problems include falsifying documents such as payroll records, a practice that can hide excessive overtime and inaccurate payment of wages — and help keep prices low.
In many cases, there were problems with workers using false identification as they compete for limited jobs.
A self-assessment program found 167 cases of workers who were under the minimum age to work but are now 18 or older. There were only two current cases of workers in Nike contract facilities under age 18, according the report. There were more than 1,000 other cases of people who were of age but had incorrect information on their identification.
"Although we understand that it is often a slow, incremental process to bring about change, we strongly believe that there is much more that can be done," the report states.
Nike said improving conditions for workers throughout its global supply chain "continues to be one of our greatest priorities."
STORY - Nike, Adidas, and Reebok sell the public the story that they are now reformed, and that their monitoring insures against sweatshops.
Bit of history - It was 1997 that sweatshop scandals in China began to get world attention. Reebok, Puma, and Adidas are not wonitored by the Fair Labor Association (FLA), which they also fund and control. 1999 students around the world organzied on campuses to fight against sweatshop conditions, focuing on the apparel sold in their university. Worker's Rights Consortium (WRC) organized 131 colleges and universites to inspect factories; currently there is not much activity. In 2000 University of Pennsylvania withdrew from FLA after students occupied the president's office for nine days and a nationwide 36-hour hunger strike is staged in support of the protesters. The United students Against Sweatshops became a potent voice in solidary with workers against sweatshops, but that voice if now silent.
For example, "While 131 colleges joined an organization called the Worker Rights Consortium, which was supposed to inspect factories and work with brands such as Nike and Champion to improve conditions, few inspections have taken place. There are now perhaps a half dozen schools actively working to improve conditions, experts say" (Dec 19 2004, Colleges' sweatshop vows fading; Years after pledging to fight for better working conditions, many have let plans slide SOURCE: Hartford Courant, BYLINE: LISA CHEDEKEL, MATTHEW KAUFFMAN).
FLA's 2004 report found significant violations the footwear giant's codes of conduct. Since 2002 FLA is allowed by the footwear corporations to conduct unannounced factory visits. FLA visits 5% of each company's factory base. Apparently the campus apparel watchers have been appeased by FLA monitoring restults. 9 Nike factories, 2 Addidas, & 5 Reebok factories in China were covered in the 2004 FLA report.
Is this more spin? Is the FLA another stooge? "They hire stooges to do snow jobs when the world knows what the truth is," says Trim Bissell of the Campaign for Labour Rights (source).
Top tier versus second tier - As the story is told, Nike, Adidas, and Reebok joined FLA monitoring umbrella, and have reformed their labor practices in China. Now that this top-tier is reformed, they are pressuring the second-tier to follow suit. The second-tier sincludes such as Puma, Mizuno, Umbro and Asics (Source: The Economist, August 21, 2004, U.S. Edition).
See www.Fairlabor.org/2004report China Findings
"To ensure that its suppliers do not ill-treat workers, US retail giant Wal-Mart has 40 inspectors on the mainland; Nike and Disney, 12 each; and Adidas, four, according to industry insiders" (China Daily, 11/30/2004).
Feb 2 2006 New Balance goes to China. See this NICNET report on labor conditions http://www.nlcnet.org/news/china/pdfs/Li_Kai_Report_Web.pdf New Balance claims "Made in the US" label, but this is a deal struck with a state legislature; actually most of New Balance production is outsourced. If you contrast what New Balance claims as its ethical code, with the stage-managed cheers, the ways they union-bust, hire underaged women workers, etc., with this report you will see the difference bewteen IMAGE STORY CONTROL and the COUNTERSTORY resistance of the workers.
Jan 2, 2005 / Agence France Presse -BEIJING- (see other Related stories)
"Ten sweatshop workers in China who were jailed for protesting unpaid salaries have been freed, with seven having their prison terms commuted to suspended sentences, a rights group said Sunday.
All of the workers, originally sentenced to up to three-and-half years, were released on Friday. Seven had terms commuted into nine months' imprisonment, suspended for one year, China Labour Watch said in a press release
The other three were released unconditionally, the US-based rights group said.
The migrant workers at two factories run by Taiwan-owned Stella International in southern Guangdong province's Dongguan city manufactured shoes for name-brand companies like Nike, Timberland, Reebok and Clark, it said."
Jan 1 2005 China Labor Watch
"According to the information China Labor Watch received yesterday, all ten Stella International workers (five from Xing Ang factory, and the other five from Xing Xiong factory) who were previously sentenced to up to three-and-half years? imprisonment after the mass strike in April, 2004 were set free on December 31"
August 27, 2004 Friday/ Nike cited for labor violations overseas; praised for trying to fix them/ RUKMINI CALLIMACHI; Associated Press Writer
"Investigators arrived unannounced at the Nike plant, which employs 1,700 workers in China, on Aug. 14, 2003. Female workers interviewed by the monitors said they were required to take a pregnancy test. If they were found to be pregnant, the factory would not hire them.
Workers also said that if they were late to work more than three times, managers would deduct wages equal to one day's pay. Supervisors yelled at workers, toilets in the women's dormitory were unclean and the factory had not allowed the union to organize.
Auret van Heerden, the president and CEO of the Fair Labor Association, said wage violations are often a problem in China because there are more workers than jobs, but pregnancy discrimination is much more common in Latin America, where factories cannot afford to pay maternity benefits.
According to Nike officials quoted in the report, pregnancy screening is not part of their hiring process, but managers at the Chinese factory do test employees monthly. The report quotes factory managers as saying the testing is in an effort to comply with Chinese labor law, which prohibits women who are more than seven-months pregnant from working overtime.
Nike contends the female workers interviewed by the auditors may have been "confused" by the purpose of the monthly screen, the report says."
Press here for click and go to very brief city description map.
Press here for another map, with links to particular provinces (includes some cultural info).
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Press here for Lonely Planet China map (can click on cities to get Lonely planet travel tips).
China Labor Watch - http://chinalaborwatch.org/index.htm
List of Known Nike Subcontracting Factories in China (contact email@example.com if you know of others).
"The best estimate is that Nike contracts with approximately 50 hidden factories in China, employing over 110,000 workers. Forty percent of Nike?s footwear is now made in China. Nike also has 70,000 workers in Indonesia, who earn 19 to 21 cents an hour, and 45,000 workers in Vietnam, who earn 20 to 23 cents an hour (Source).
See, Nike Images of Factory Life in China http://www.nikebiz.com/labor/china_viet_pics.shtml Then for contrast, read the following exhibits:
DISCLOSED BY NIKE:
BAISHI INDUSTRIAL AREA
Inspection from labor organizations
and Reebok clients. Before visits by human rights or labor organizations
and the media, the factory administration will inform the workers
to "get prepared".|
Site by Nike
Site - CIC.org
Located at south of Huizhou City, Guangdong Province
(Wei Li Cap Factory)
Hung Wah Garment Factory
Hung Yip Garment Factory
Chongzhan/ San Xiang- Bai Shi Industrial Area Chongzhan/ San Xiang- No. 2 Industrial Area ZhuHai/ Ja Da Qu
Huizhou/ Xiajiao- Liuhuzai Industrial Area
Caps (They produce for sportswear TNCs. Nike is one of their consumers)
Garment e.g. Sportswear, children-wear (They produce for different brand names. Nike is one of them.)
To the U.S. and Europe
To the U.S. and Europe
No. of workers
2,500 2,500 600
80-90% are women workers
Almost all workers are women. Only 30-50 of them are men.
Most from Anhui and Henan
Some from Hubei and Sichuan
Most from Sichuan and Henan
Some are locals
RMB 300-1000 (USD 37-122), depending on kind of job
(Overtime payment is included and all the accommodation & catering fees are deducted. It is the exact amount the workers receive)
RMB 400-500 (USD 49-61)
RMB 600-700 (USD 73-85) [Peak season]
(Overtime payment is included and all the accommodation & catering fees are deducted. It is the exact amount the workers receive)
Workers in computerised stitching section: 08:00-12:00, 13:00-21:00 (12hours)
Two shifts/ never work overtime
RMB120 overtime bonus monthly
Workers in the other sections: 08:00-12:00, 13:00-1700 (8hours)
Occasionally (not frequently) work overtime but not more than three hours a day
07:30-11:30, 13:00-17:30, 18:30-22:30 (12.5hours)
Workers work overtime everyday except Sunday
In the peak season, they are sometimes forced to work overnight
For the workers paid by piece rate, RMB 1 is paid additionally for each overtime hour
Workers in computerised stitching section: have one day off every 12 working days
Workers in the other sections: Six working days a week, day off on Sundays
Seven days a week
Workers can have their one day-off a month at the date when their wage is released
Most workers mentioned that the catering and accommodation offered by the factory was good.
RMB 135 is deducted monthly for living expenses (i.e. fees for food and dorm)
They prefer to stay in the factory to have their meals
Four dorms for women & one for men
10 workers live in a room
Someone helps to clean rooms
Most workers live in the dorms offered by the factory where they pay RMB 35 a month
12 workers share a room
Seven rooms and three toilets on one floor
Windows in the dorms are barred
Workers don't like the food in the factory and prefer to eat in the small food stalls outside the factory where the cost is the same as in the factory canteen
Factory offers RMB 20 as monthly medical allowance and RMB 50 for good performance bonus
RMB 1 will be deducted for every minute late
Once working in the factory, they pay RMB 25 for deposit and the factory ID card.
They have to pay RMB 40 (RMB10x 4 months) for a Temporary residence card and RMB 50 (RMB 10 x 5 months) for the annual employment card
One-month wage is always withheld by the management
Arriving five minutes late to work is fined RMB 10
Entering the factory without factory ID card is fined RMB5
One-day absence without prior notice is fined one-day??s wage (i.e. RMB20 will be deducted if monthly wage is RMB600)
Workers have no idea about it
Workers mentioned that they were not covered by any insurance
There is a basketball court in each campus
Nil. Workers have no leisure time as they work 12.5 hours a day and 7 days a week
Workers wondered what a trade union is but claimed there was a worker's organisation which was selected by the management. Monthly meeting is held
Workers confused about what a trade union is and mentioned that there was no trade union in the factory.
Code of Conduct/ Factory regulations
Some workers in the factory in Zhuhai knew Nike's Code of Conduct and mentioned the Code's was displayed in the workplace and every worker was given a small card introducing the Code
However, they never met Nike representatives
No interviewed workers mentioned that they had heard of or read about Nike's Code of Conduct.
Factory regulations are clearly posted at the gate. One of them states the penalty for arriving late to work (as above)
It states that the overtime payment will be calculated according to the Chinese Labour Laws. However, we found it was not the case. According to the laws, working on Saturdays and Sundays should be paid double pay. Regardless of unlawful overtime bonus given by the factory, the overtime work is only defined as work done at night
October 25, 2002/ Nike, Adidas, Reebok and New Balance Made in China By Li Qiang, China Labor Watch
"My initial visits to the YueYuen factory in November 1999 made a deep impression on me. I entered the factory workshops and saw the production line. I also managed to enter the workers' dorms and talk to the workers. On the same day that I first went to the factory, a female worker committed suicide by jumping off the 8th floor of "B" building, which housed the production line for Nike products. The suicide took place at eight o'clock in the morning on November 1999. T he factory did not know the girl's name as she had originally got employment there by using another young woman's ID card. She was under the minimum age limit of 18 set by the employers and had therefore borrowed the ID card of a woman named Zhong Xiaohong. To my knowledge, suicides have claimed the lives of three workers since 1999." ...
At Nike China factories, "Only interviews and visits arranged by Nike Public Relations are permitted."
How does Adidas respond to media stories? "We also have information on how Adidas deals with media coverage. The story of workers being physically punished at the Yongxin Shoes Factory in Dingshan Management District, Houjie Town was originally covered by Guangzhou Daily (Guangzhou Ribao). After the story came out, Adidas responded by terminating its contract with the factory leaving the workers unemployed once they had finished producing the last 200,000 pairs of shoes This shows how Adidas's media policy can impact on workers in a highly negative manner."
Unanticipated consquences of Codes fo Conduct at China Factories: 'Problem Four: Intensity of Work.
Since the factory introduced Nike code of conduct of the factory at the factory, the pace of work has increased. For example, before the Nike code was applied, because of Nike?s stipulation on overtime working, now the workers have to finish a job in 10 hours that used to take 12 hours. This in effect increases working intensity.
The 95 workers in the formation group were required to finish producing 2400 pairs of Nike shoes before 9:00 pm. After the Nike code was applied, the completion time was changed to 8:00 pm. The yield is the same, but the time is shorter. The factory requests workers to get off work before 8:00 pm. To get round the code's stipulations on working time, management simply increased productivity. If a group can't meet its production target within the required time limit, the group leader and supervisor will be punished, A system that puts further pressure on workers."
"It is estimated that Nike workers in China receive at most $1.50 for every pair of Nike shoes, which sell at retail typically for $80 - $120. Nike could easily afford to double or triple what it pays its Chinese workforce. No wonder Nike supports Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China, which would permanently set the rules of trade in a manner that would allow Nike to continue to build its sweatshop headquarters in China. Maybe that's why five Nike executives (including the wife of one executive) have contributed to Congressman David Dreier's American Success PAC. Dreier is the Republican whip behind giving China Permanent Normal Trade Relations. Nike's money works in other avenues of influence as well. Attempts to intimidate universities from supporting an anti-sweatshop investigatory organization, the Worker Rights Consortium, that would actually make its findings public. For more information, contact www.globalexchange.org or www.corpwatch.org" (Source)
There are FOUR Sewon Factories in Northern China, Jiaozhou City in Shandong province. It is at the southeast of Shandong Peninsula and the northwest coast of Jiaozhou Bay. A South Korean-owned footwear manufacturer owns two of the plants in Jiaozhou City. In this one city in China, it is estimated there are 20,500 young women sewing Nike sneakers. The critical issue about the Sewon plants, is that the photos and commentary depicted indicates significant fire hazards plus sweatshop, barracks-style working conditions.
Other sources with similar report on fire hazard at Sewon (1, 2, 3)
Jaiozhou-Economic and Technological Development Zone Jiaozhou Economic Development Zone - Located in the eastern part of the Jiaozhou City proper, the zone is 40 km away from the Qingdao Port, 35 km away from the Qianwan Port and 40 km away from the Qingdao Airport. Its planned area is 9.7 square km (source).
Besides safety violations, there are alleged wage cheating, forced overtime,
and illegal systems of fines and deposits. "A worker at the Qingdau Sewon
Shoes Company told the HKCIC that she must work overtime everyday,
sometimes until 2:00 - 3:00 a.m." (Source, HKCIC, 2000).
EXHIBIT C: The 1997 Andrew Young Study. He visited four factories in China, four factories in Vietnam and four factories in Indonesia (and spent an average of 4 hours in each one). His travel itinerary was 3 days in Vietnam, 3 in China, and 4 in Indonesia.
NEEDED - trying to find exactly which factories in China, Young visited.
Young and the Feckless - 1997
HKCIC Report, 1997 - examined workers' rights and working conditions in the factories of five major subcontractors producing sports shoes in China: Yue Yuen, Nority International, KTP Holdings and Wellco. These factories produce shoes for Nike and Reebok. The first two are Taiwanese companies with factories in southern China, while KTP Holdings is a Hong Kong-based company and Wellco is a South Korean-owned company. All the factories are located in Pearl River Delta in southern China. http://www.web.net/~msn/3nike15.htm
EXHIBIT D: Global Exchange is acting for two human-rights organizations in Hong Kong that interviewed scores of workers from four major sports shoe subcontractors in China's southern Pearl River Delta. The four factories, which employ at least 80,000 people, were monitored in 1995 and again in June and July 1997 (Source AP, 1997). Taken from report by Hong Kong-based Asia Monitor Resource Centre & the Hong Kong Christian Industrial Committee. (Methodology: They conducted detailed interviews with 10 workers in each factory, held discussions with dozens of other workers, and included our own observations).
EXHIBIT E: "Wellco plant in Dongguan County near Hong Kong, owned by a Korean subcontractor for Nike, people as young as 13 reportedly were doing sewing and cutting work, workers said" (Source 1997, HKCIC). Since 1998, Nike claims that it has absolutely no child labor in any of its subcontracting factories. Eight thousand workers (mostly female between 17 & 23) are employed there.
EXHIBIT F: Disney/Nike Contractor Leaves Haiti for China in August 1997, where sewers earn $0.13 per hour. (Source). (Other sources 1, 2, 3).
EXHIBIT G: In December, 1999 and March, 2000, the Hong Kong Christian Industrial Committee (HKCIC) interviewed workers at factories producing for Nike in China's Guangdong province. Nike contractor (Hung Wah/Hung Yip garment factory) (Source, 2000).
Workers report that they are required to work 12 ? hour days and seven day
work-weeks, with one day off per month at one Nike contractor (Hung Wah/Hung
Yip garment factory). At another factory (Wei Li Textile) some workers report
working 12 hour days and have only one day off every 12 working days. At the
factory, workers report that they typically work 50 - 90 overtime hours per month. A worker at the Qingdau Sewon Shoes Company told the HKCIC that she must work overtime everyday, sometimes until 2:00 - 3:00 a.m. "Workers say they are trained how to deal with the foreign monitors who come into the factory." (HKCIC Source, 2000).
EXHIBIT H: In The News - China
from Portland OREGONIAN
"Frankly speaking, the pressure is always increasing," said Allen Lee, a manager at Pou Chen's Yue Yuen factory in southern China. "People are always talking about human rights and welfare. In 1989, people never did that. That was my golden time. No one squeezed me." (Source Jeff Ballinger email alter Sun, 17 Sep 2000 06:56:34 -0400).
EXHIBIT I - CHINA and Labor Policy - Freedom of Association - May 19, 2001
A key issue for Athletic and Campus apparel factories in China is Freedom of Association.
The New York Times May 20, 2001HEADLINE: China Accepts U.N. Advice To Help Ease Labor StrifeBYLINE: By ERIK ECKHOLMDATELINE: BEIJING, May 19, 2001Independent groups, even where the official union is corrupt or fails to protect workers, have been crushed and rebellious labor leaders have been jailed...Mr. Somavia gave the Chinese government a list of 24 prisoners who the International Labor Organization says have been jailed for labor organizing, and asked for their immediate release. In one example cited by the agency, Zhang Shanguang -- who set up an association for the rights of laid-off workers in Hunan Province and described worker protests on an American radio broadcast -- was sentenced in December 1998 to 10 years in prison for "revealing state secrets."
1. Nority International Group Ltd., A Reebok Subcontractor (1995 Study) found wage, overtime, and other Code of Conduct violations in this factory.
Nority Shoe Factory is located in Dongguan, Chang'an County and employs 6,000-7,000 workers, most of whom are women. The factory is Taiwanese-owned and produces shoes for Reebok. We first investigated this factory in our 1995 study and found violations in wages, health and safety conditions. The present study reveals that few improvements have been made.
2. KTP Holdings Ltd.
KTP Holdings Ltd (hereafter KTP) has factories located in Bao'an and Dongguan counties. KTP produces mostly for Reebok, but also for other shoe companies such as Adidas and LA Gear. Orders from Reebok constitute 45-50 percent of KTP's business. The factory in Bao'an employs 4,000-6,000 workers, most of whom are women. Most of the workers are from Hunan, Sichuan, and Jiangxi provinces, and are 22-25 years old. The workers have generally been working in the factory for one to three years.
Yuen Industrial Holdings Co. Ltd., A Nike and Reebok Subcontractor
Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings Co. Ltd. is based in Dongguan, near the first Special Economic Zone in China. It is registered in Hong Kong and belongs to a Taiwanese shoe company, the Pao Chen Cooperative. According to a business magazine published recently in Taiwan, the Pao Chen Cooperative employs 140,000 workers in its shoe factories and is the biggest
sports shoe producer in the world. Yue Yuen was established in 1989 and has a contract to produce for both Nike and Reebo
4. 1997 REPORT FROM CHINA - Sunday, September 21, 1997 Study: Chinese workers abused making Nikes, Reeboks Last modified at 11:07 p.m. on Saturday, September 20, 1997 NEW YORK (AP) -- Subcontractors making shoes in China for Nike and Reebok use workers as young as 13 who earn as little as 10 cents an hour toiling up to 17 hours daily in enforced silence, independent observers charge (source).
5. Li Feng Trademark
Manufacturing, Ltd. http://chinalaborwatch.org/reports/lifeng.htm
By Li Qiang, China Labor Watch http://chinalaborwatch.org/index.htm
Location: Shangyuan Industrial Park, Dongguan
Employees: around 1500
Product: Trademark labels for Nike, Reebok, and many other Chinese brands.
The factory forbids workers to pass in and out at will. During hours that are not permitted by the factory, workers must show notes issued by the authorities in order to enter the factory.
- During busy season a worker works 13 hours a day, 7 days a week, 30 or 31 days a month. Under normal circumstances, a work has two days off per month.
- The factory only hires girls between the age of 18 to 25. It does not hire male workers except for special types of work.
- The factory does not sign contracts with workers. A hired worker must pay a deposit of Y55. Worker gets the first month's salary after 55 days.
- The factory uses methylbenzene. Workers don't know that methylbenzene is toxic. The factory building is filled with bad smelling, irritating gas.
- Worker's hourly rate is Y1.25 ($0.19). overtime rate Y3 ($0.37), an 11-hour day's pay is $2.60.
- There a lot of female workers between 18 and 19 years of age. They stand on their feet during work every day.
- The factory has a lot of strict rules. Workers are fined severely if they violate those rules.
- The factory provides workers with no medical insurance nor pension.Fines Over 20% of workers are fined every month.
Pay: $0.19 per hour. $1.50 for 8 hours. Overtime wage: $0.37 per hour. $1.10 for three hours of overtime. Daily wage for 11 hours: $2.60. $36.40 for 14 days.
Night shift workers are paid $22.40 for 9 hours of work. Per month: $58.40. Per year: $700.40.
16 rooms each floor. 12 workers each room. One bathroom and one restroom each floor.
Lodge and board is free, but a monthly fee of $1.50 for welfare and a monthly fee of $2 for maintenance are taken off workers' monthly pay.
Sign-up and Quitting
No contract between workers and the management. A deposit of $6.50 to the management by workers at the time of being hired is a must under the name of "training fee." In fact, workers start to work on their first day with no training necessary. Such a deposit is charged only out of the concern on the part of the management that the workers might leave too soon under such harsh working conditions. Workers cannot get back the deposit if they quit the factory within 90 days of being hired; first payment of wage is after having worked for 55 days.
Punishment of Violation of the Rules
Any violation of the rules set by the management is to be punished harshly. Every month, more than 20% of all workers are punished because of violation of the rules.
Disciplinary warning: a fine of $1.20 (such as playing poker in dorm)
Serious offense: a fine of $11
Minor offense: a fine of $6 (such as not sleeping in the dorm)
For example, if playing cards in the dorm, the fine is $1.20. Leaving the dorm in the night, $6.
At the modeling workshop, a fine of $6 is to be imposed on the worker if his/her rejection rate is higher than 3%.
Workers work with poisonous materials such as methylbenzene every day without even knowing they are poisonous. No necessary protection is provided.
No union and workers know nothing about it. Strikes and protests have happened but the workers are fired very soon afterwards.
6. Kong Tai Shoes Mfg. Co., Ltd.
By Li Qiang, China Labor Watch
For this report, Li Qiang interviewed five people between February 1998 and January 2000.
Location: Shenzhen (Long Gang Township, Long Gang district)
Contractor with Reebok
Sex ratio: 1 (male) to 7 (female)
This is a contractor with Reebok. One pair of shoes produced is sold on average around $50. The workers are paid less than 60 cents.
In peak production season workers are required to work 13.5 hours a day, seven days a week, and 30 days a month.
- On the most important Chinese holidays, the maximum leave allowed by the management is four days. Some workers haven't had the chance to go home as long as six years.
- Female workers of age 16-17 are found in the factory. Generally female workers are hired. Sex ratio of the work force is one male to seven female workers.
- Pay is based on work quota. Daily quota is usually too high to be finished within eight hours. No overtime pay. Those workers with less than one year's experience are paid at 21 cents an hour.
- A very small dormitory houses 15 workers. No bathroom and toilets.
- Employment requires a 30 RMB application fee (nonreturnable). Workers receive their first month pay after being employed 60 days, with one month's wages withheld as deposit.
- Very harsh factory regulations. Violations are met by fines or firing.
- Unions exist. Monthly membership contribution of 2 RMB. Not elected by workers. Most workers are ignorant of its existence or purpose. The leaders of the unions appointed by management.
- When leaving the worksite, workers are searched. Dorms and worksites both under the surveillance of security guards hired by management
- Work injuries are generally not compensated. No medical, unemployment and retirement insurance.
- In certain working sections, toxic chemical (HP2) used. Affected workers are not informed.Reebok has special human rights office on worksite, which is of only symbolic significance. Workers don't dare to report human rights and other violations, for fear of the inevitable retributions by the management.
The base daily wage is 5 RMB (about 60 cents). The actual pay scale is calculated in the following way:
Actual working days x 5 RMB (60 cents) + quota remuneration
Quota remuneration is not fixed. It depends on workers' experience. Those with two years' experience are paid 50 RMB ($6) more than those with only one year experience. Those with three years' experience are paid 40 RMB ($5) more than those with two years.
The quota is generally set too high to be finished within eight hours. The whole production of shoes are divided into three major stages: cutting, stitching, and molding. Molding stage costs 1.2 RMB (15 cents). A worker could produce about 20 per day. The stitching section unit normally has 50 workers who produce 650 pairs of shoes. The unit cost of one pair at this stage is only about 2 RMB (23 cents). The molding section unit normally has 95 workers who produce 2,600-2,800 pairs of shoes. The unit cost of one pair at this stage is only about 1 RMB (12 cents).
The total unit costs after the three major stages are around 50 cents.
What the workers get from their work?
$0.21 an hour;
$2.41 a day (11.5 hours);
$14.46 a week (6 days);
$62.60 a month (26 days)
Above calculation is for a worker with one-year experience. Those with two years are $68.60. The line supervisor could earn $110; a work unit leader $210-230; section head $420-500.
There are 10 factory dorm buildings. One for male workers. Eight for female workers. One for married workers. Eight inside and two outside the factory.
A dorm averages around 20 square meters, housing 15 people. Workers sleep in bunkers and part of the room is occupied by the luggage of the workers. There is no private bath and toilets. There is a public bathroom and toilets on every floor.
Sign-up and Quitting
When workers sign up for the job, they are required to pay a 30 RMB application fee. Workers receive their first month's pay after they worked 60 days, with one month's wages withheld as deposit.
Most workers don't have a contract. Generally workers cannot quit their jobs. They could leave on their own, in which case they don't receive their last month's pay. Many workers have left their jobs. They tried to quit, but generally the management doesn't allow them to quit so that they have to leave without the last month pay. Over 90 percent of workers who left the factory belong to this category.
Harsh Factory Rules
A "major offense" results in a fine of 90 RMB ($11); a "minor" one 30 RMB ($4.20); "warning" 10 RMB ($1.20).
For example, if late, a worker would be fined 10 RMB; if the dorm is not clean, fined 10 RMB; if refusing to work overtime, fined 90 RMB; three times's refusing to work overtime lead to firing.
There is a union which is set up under pressure by Reebok. However, the chair of the union is appointed by the management, not elected by the workers. Many workers don't know there is a union. Those who have some knowledge don't know what it does. (The chair of the union is named Jiang Wenjian, but most workers don't know him at all.) They are required to pay a monthly union membership contribution (2 RMB).
Human Rights Monitoring
Reebok has a special human rights office at the work site to monitor whether the factory complies with Reebok's standards of conduct. There is also a complaint mailbox where workers are supposed to put in their complaints.
If workers do file a complaint against the management, Reebok human rights office would respond by an investigation. In most cases it results in nothing more than a 90 RMB fine on the direct supervisor of the complaining worker(s). Afterwards the worker(s) would be punished indirectly in various ways and often forced to leave. So in general it becomes in the worker's interest not to use this channel to protest. The general manager of the factory publicly warns workers not to do so.
The number of complaints has been declining very fast to a very small number.
The workers are often forced to stay after work to be lectured by supervisors.
When leaving the factory, the workers are always searched by the security guards, on the grounds that there are incidents of theft. If suspected of stealing shoes, a worker would be taken to a small room and asked to take off her clothes. There are more such cases in the winter. Once found stealing shoes, a worker will be fired immediately and sometimes turned to the police.
Since March 1999, nontoxic glue supplied by Li Bao Co. began being used. However, some sections are still using toxic glue since it is more effective, for example in the molding and cleaning.
There is no mask used in the toxic environment except on occasions when inspectors from Reebok come.
- Report on Dongguan Elegant Top Shoes Co., Ltd. China (2000) details alleged, continued violations of Reebok's Code of conduct. These include discrimination, wage, overtime, benefit and safety practices which violate Chinese law and are contrary to Reebok's code.
- Report on Gang Tai Shoes, a Hong Kong (2001) subcontractor to Kong Tai Shoes Mfg. Co., Ltd. of Taiwan who operates the factory in China and subs to Reebok has alleged repeated code of conduct violations.
- Monitors sent be Reebok to write reports that audit compliance to Reebok's Code of Conduct are actualized in ways that deny workers their voice, and cover up cancer causing toxic conditions such as use of Tolulene:
- Inspection from labor organizations and Reebok clients. Before visits by human rights or labor organizations and the media, the factory administration will inform the workers to "get prepared".
IRONY: Reebok contractors are reported to have the best working and living conditions among Chinese local factories. Many workers consider themselves fortunate to be able to work in Reebok contractor factories.
1st Factory Location:
Freetrend Factory Shenzhen
Guangdong Province, China
Summary ? New Balance Made at Freetrend
Freetrend is a Taiwanese-owned company operating a six-plant compound in Shenzhen, with two additional factories currently under construction. Its major production is for New Balance (See NLCNET Report).
- Wages: 18 Cents an Hour Base Wage; Average Wage is 25 to 30 cents an Hour, or $2.55 to $3.01 for a 10 Hour Day.
- Workers at the factory 14 to 15? hours a day,
from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., six days a week.
- 18 cents an hour base wage. Average wage is 25
cents an hour, or $2.25 for a 10 hour day.
- 12 cents premium for working overtime hours.
- No freedom of movement. - Workers are not permitted to leave the factory compound to walk outside during their lunch break without prior permission from factory managers.
- Illegal Deposits Held - To prevent or discourage new employees from seeking better conditions and wages elsewhere, Freetrend charges each worker a 50 rmb deposit ($6.02) upon entering the factory and then illegally withhold their first month?s wages (about $66 U.S.) neither of which will be returned if the worker leaves the factory before their first year is out. The workers only receive their first pay at the end of the second month.
- Harsh rules and management. Section chiefs are very strict
and scream at the women, who are frequently brought to tears.
One woman stated: ?When you are in the workplace you are
scolded for just laughing or standing up.? There is constant
pressure to produce. Workers are fined for taking sick days.
- Illegal deductions. To get a job at Freetrend, workers must pay
a 50 rmb deposit and then the first month wages are withheld by the company.
- 12 workers share one small dorm room.
2nd Factory Location
Pou Chen Corp. plant in Dongguan,
China - New Balance (See 1998 Oregonian Story by Jeff Manning).
3rd Factory Location
New Balance Made in the Lizhan Footwear Factory: Lizhan Footwear is a Taiwanese-owned sneaker and shoe manufacturer with three plants in Dongguan City in the south of China. Lizhan Factory II produces for New Balance (nlcnet Report)
The factory flies a SA8000 banner.
Wages: 18 cents an hour base wage. With overtime and incentives added, wages range from 24 to 34 cents an hour or $13.90 to $19.46 for a 6 day, 57 hour workweek.
To get a job at the Lizhan Footwear factory making New
Balance sneakers, workers are charged various deposits and
wage deductions totaling a full five-weeks of wages.
Lizhan management threatens and coaches the workers to lie
about factory conditions and the hours they work should any
New Balance auditors approach them.
SA 8000 Corporate Monitors Show up ? The Workers Have No Idea What It Is
Representatives from the Council on Economic Priorities Accreditation Agency (CEPAA) SA 8000 monitoring program showed up at the Lizhan Factory and were introduced at a morning assembly. Afterwards the workers told our researchers that they had no idea what SA 8000 was. Some other workers said the SA 8000 people organized a few talks on Chinese labor laws, but no one paid much attention.
4th Factory Location
Pou Yuen Factory
See (NLC Report)Zhongshan Branch of the
Pou Yuen Shoe conglomerate is made up of six or
seven factories employing 37,000 workers.
Wages: 19 cents an hour
Adidas in China
July 15, 2000- The last major scandal to affect a well-known brand was in 1998 when Adidas conceded that some of its sub-contractors in China may have used prisoners at a labour camp near Shanghai to produce footballs.
August 22, 2001 Workers' Rights Suffering as China Goes Capitalist By ERIK ECKHOLM ... "The conditions that many of these workers face today are no better than the conditions that Marx described in `Das Kapital,' " said Ms. He, the author
and social critic, who lived in the special export zone of Shenzhen until leaving this summer for the United States after suffering police harassment.