Ariel sings! She sparkles! And she’s made by Chinese factory workers, mostly women, and paid just 1 penny by Disney for each doll that shimmers off shop shelves.
Unless you support legal Chinese slave labor and exploitative factory sweatshop conditions, you might want to think twice about getting your daughter the Princess Sing & Sparkle Ariel doll from Disney corporation.
Disney World may well be for some the ‘happiest place on earth‘, as their marketing constantly reminds you it is, but there is nothing happy or joyous about how they are ripping off the chinese factory workers who make their products. Do you think these chinese workers deserve more than 85 cents per day? My mother made more than that while working as a cashier back in high school in 1947!
So the next time you go out and buy something from Disney and get all excited, just remember the real cost of that product, and the lives that were destroyed in producing it.
Revealed: Disney’s $35 Ariel doll earns a Chinese worker 1 penny
FROM THE GUARDIAN UK: This Christmas, tens of thousands of children the world over will excitedly tear the wrapping paper off an Ariel doll – Disney’s Little Mermaid – secure in the knowledge that it was made for them by Santa’s happy elves at the north pole.
The reality would come as a cruel surprise. For elves, read Chinese factory workers. For the north pole, read the city of Heyuan. And for happy, read miserable – from illegally long working hours and exhaustion to wages too low to support a family.
An investigation published on Thursday by rights groups Solidar Suisse and China Labor Watch, in partnership with the Guardian, found evidence of excessive and illegal overtime, basic pay rates as low as 85 cents an hour, no holiday or sick pay and high levels of exhaustion among the largely female workforce making toys for Disney, Mattel’s Fisher Price brand and other international toy companies.
Workers reported being fined or dismissed if they took three or more days off sick.
Staff at the Wah Tung factory in the city of Heyuan said that they worked 175 hours of overtime in a month, with only one day off over that period – both breaches of Chinese labour law and toy industry codes of conduct.
The basic wage on the line is 7.5 Chinese yuan (85 cents) – legal, but so low that workers say they feel obliged to work overtime. The investigation, which took place earlier this year, also highlighted a significant gender imbalance, with men outnumbering women nine to one in management roles but women making up 80% of the workforce.
Heyuan is a city of roughly 3 million people in Guangdong province, south-east China. It is home to Wah Tung (Heyuan) Toy Manufacturing Ltd, where about 2,000 workers produce a range of mainly plastic toys and electronics.
This is where Disney makes the Princess Sing & Sparkle Ariel doll that sells for $44.66 USD. Many online stores have sold out of stock and are awaiting a fresh delivery a few days before Christmas.
At the peak of production, in late summer, as many as 2,400 of the dolls were rolling off the Wah Tung production line each day.
The Princess Sing & Sparkle Ariel dollcomes with a mane of deep red hair and a glittery tail that acts like a snow globe. In the last quarter it helped Disney’s consumer products division to an operating income of $337 million on revenue of $1.1 billion USD.
But the investigation found that, when costs were broken down, each of the women on the production line was receiving just 1 cent for every doll produced.
The investigator joined the Sing & Sparkle assembly line for a month during the summer. From her own experience and interviews with fellow workers, she found daily overtime varied between two and five hours and that, with weekends included, overtime would sometimes hit 175 hours a month – nearly five times the legal limit of 36 hours. READ MORE