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Walt Disney Sweatshops By, Heidi and Dustin. 3 Sources of Evidence Disney Sweatshops are not so Fun for KidsDisney Sweatshops are not so Fun for Kids.

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Presentation on theme: "Walt Disney Sweatshops By, Heidi and Dustin. 3 Sources of Evidence Disney Sweatshops are not so Fun for KidsDisney Sweatshops are not so Fun for Kids."— Presentation transcript:

1 Walt Disney Sweatshops By, Heidi and Dustin

2 3 Sources of Evidence Disney Sweatshops are not so Fun for KidsDisney Sweatshops are not so Fun for Kids Working for Disney is No Fairy TaleWorking for Disney is No Fairy Tale Disney Sweatshop in BangladeshDisney Sweatshop in Bangladesh

3 Disney sweatshops have existed for over 7 years from what we can tell from looking at long-time contracts that they have had with certain overseas factories. The child labor utilized in Disney sweatshops is a far cry from the wholesome family image that they strive to portray. The most recent issue concerning Disney Sweatshops is the 2004 abuse of workers at the Shah Makdhum factory in Bangladesh. Workers were forced to work over 15 hours a day (mostly young women) everyday, in conjunction with being beaten while earning around 15 cents a day for sewing shirts that sell for around 18 dollars American in the United States. Disney sweatshops exist because we let them exist, as long as we continue to purchase their merchandise and assist them in making huge profits at the cost of child labor. Disney is aware of these violations and chooses not to deal with them. After the 2004 discovery of the violations at the Shah Makdhum factory in Bangladesh, Disney simply picked up their business, left the whole factory jobless, and moved to another factory that didn’t have so much attention focused on it. The actions that Disney took did not help alleviate the Disney sweatshops, but rather ignored it and pursued it elsewhere. Many of these women that were employed at this factory were dropped after a 7 /8-year relationship producing goods for Disney, and were abandoned because they pleaded that they not be beaten by their supervisors, and to receive one day off a week to avoid utter exhaustion. So, the Disney sweatshops not only violated these workers basic human rights, but the also managed to leave them jobless, penniless, and hungry. The factory then responded to Disney’s decision to pull out, by improving factory conditions to meet workers standards and create sweat shop free clothing. The owner of the Shah Makhdum factory now pays the workers proper wages, a daycare and health clinic are currently being built, they now get purified drinking water and a covered area to eat (guarded from the extreme temperatures), floor space in the factory is twice the size, new lights and fans have been installed, the factory has been cleaned and painted, and on top of all of these improvements the workers now get their one day off a week and religious and government holidays. Previously a Disney sweatshops accomplice, The owner of this factory took the higher path and held a meeting with the 352 workers, apologized for past abuses and ordered the supervisors and managers never to abuse or threaten the workers in any way… the workers are now happy that they have their dignity back. Clearly it was a lot harder for an overseas factory that was previously a supporter of Disney sweatshops to make these changes than it would be for Disney to simply return business to this factory and support human rights. Sadly, Disney is not willing to respond to human rights concerns by returning to the factory, which will prove to be detrimental in the development of workers rights both overseas and in North America. (

4 San Francisco, CA--Chinese factory workers manufacturing clothes, hats and shoes for the Walt Disney Company are regularly forced to work cripplingly long hours for poverty wages, according to a new report by the Hong Kong Christian Industrial Committee (HKCIC). Human rights groups in Great Britain and the US say the intolerable working conditions described in the report prove that independent monitoring of Disney factories is needed immediately if workplace abuses are to be eliminated. "This information, though shocking and disturbing, is not surprising--we've seen this before in China," says Medea Benjamin, Co-Director of Global Exchange, a San Francisco-based human rights group that for the past four years has been heavily pressuring US companies to improve their labor practices overseas. "The reports adds further weight to the international call for corporations operating in China, such as Disney, to disclose the locations of their Chinese factories, pay their workers a living wage, and make a serious commitment to independent monitoring." The HKCIC report, based on interviews with dozens of Chinese workers from four factories, reveals a disturbing pattern of abuse in factories making Disney products. In their eight months of investigation, researchers found that factory managers routinely violate both Chinese labor laws and Disney's own Code of Conduct for Manufacturers with respect to overtime, pay and contracts. Workers at one factory reported that they regularly work 16 hour days, seven days a week during peak production times despite Chinese labor laws that establish a maximum 49 hour work week. In one factory, employees couldn't afford to go home for the Chinese New Year because they hadn't been paid in three months. Workers at all the investigated factories complained of working mandatory overtime for minuscule wages; at one factory, workers are paid only ten cents above their standard wage for five hours of overtime. And at all the factories, workers are forced to pay the management "deposits" and "entrance fees" just to be able to work; at one factory, workers lose their deposit if they do not stay at the factory for at least two years, and at another workers must pay a monthly "tool deposit." According to the report, workers at the four investigated factories earn between 13.5 and 36 cents an hour, depending on the production schedule. Independent research groups in Hong Kong say a wage earner must make 87 cents an hour to meet the basic survival needs of a small family in a major Chinese city. Like many other US corporations doing business abroad, Disney has adopted a Code of Conduct designed to guarantee that its overseas workers are treated fairly. But as the report shows, many of the worker protections in Disney's code--including provisions covering overtime and distribution of the code to workers--are rarely enforced. Human rights activists say the HKCIC report demonstrates that Disney's code is virtually meaningless. "Disney's Code of Conduct is commendable," says Mary McCollum of CAFOD, the official overseas development agency of the Catholic Church in England. "But it is clear that unless they allow independent monitors in to inspect their factories in China, these gross violations of workers' rights will continue to blight the company's good name." In the past few years, US corporations such as Levi's, Nike and Reebok have been publicly criticized for how workers are treated in their Chinese factories. This is the first time, however, that Disney's Chinese subcontractors have been scrutinized. The reports of worker maltreatment come as Disney investors prepare to meet in Seattle at 10:00 a.m. on February 23 for the company's annual shareholders meeting. A group of religious and socially responsible investors, together holding more than 1 million of shares of Disney stock, has introduced a shareholder resolution that mirrors many of the demands from human rights groups. The investors, citing concerns about Disney's reputation with consumers, want Disney to agree to independent monitoring of its factories; establish a sustainable living wage policy; and report regularly to investors about the pace of workplace improvements. In their shareholder proposal, the investors backing the reforms warn that "without reports validating progress toward implementing the Code of Conduct, lasting damage could occur to our company's reputation, brand value and its long-term profitability. (

5 Workers Badly Beaten, Fired, And Imprisoned For asking To Be Paid On Time Workers routinely slapped and punched for not working fast enough; Forced to work 14 hours a day, seven days a week, with at most one day off a month; Mandatory 19-hour all-night shifts once a week, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. the following morning, after which workers sleep on factory floor; Forced to work 35 to 42 hours of overtime a week. Workers at the factory up to 100 hours a week. At most workers get four to five hours of sleep a night; Sewers paid just 11 to 20 cents an hour, as little as $5.28 a week; Helpers earn just seven to eight cents an hour, and $3.16 a week; Workers trapped in misery: four workers sharing one small hut exist on rice and must borrow money to survive; Workers paid just five cents for each Disney garment they sew; Workers routinely paid two weeks late and are cheated of one-half of legal overtime pay; Women denied their legal maternity benefits; Speaking prohibited—if caught may be docked one day’s wages; No health insurance, no doctor in the plant, no sick days; No daycare center and no place to eat; Drinking water is filthy; If late three times docked one day’s wages; Docked two days’ wages if they talk back to supervisors or managers. Any attempt to exercise their legal right to Freedom of Association would be met with beatings, mass firings and blacklisting; No one has ever heard of Disney’s so-called Code of Conduct, and have no idea what it might be; Corporate monitoring a joke: visits announced in advance, factory is cleaned, workers are threatened to lie about working conditions, “monitors” interview the workers inside the plant in front of supervisors and mangers. Every worker knows that she would be immediately fired if she ever spoke the truth; Workers report that they have no hope, no life, and that they live only to work. (


7 The Walt Disney Company Foundation Donates $1 Million to UNICEF WASHINGTON, DC- Dedicated to brightening the lives of children around the globe when they need it most, The Walt Disney Company Foundation made a $1 million donation to UNICEF last night at the Gala Dinner of the 6th Annual Global Travel & Tourism Summit in Washington, DC, held by the World Travel & Tourism Council. In the spirit of coming together with children from around the world, Disney's donation to UNICEF came just prior to the entertainment portion of the Gala Dinner, when legendary stage and screen star Julie Andrews joined the World Children's Choir, made up of children from backgrounds spanning the globe, in a rousing ensemble of "It's a Small World." "On behalf of The Walt Disney Company Foundation, I am delighted to present UNICEF with this donation of $1 million to help it make the world a better place for children," said Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Jay Rasulo, who hosted the gala celebration. "Bringing smiles to children is what Disney is known for, and working with UNICEF to help achieve this goal is something we are very proud to do." The donation will help UNICEF continue its progress behind five key priorities for the world's children: child protection, immunization, early childhood support, fighting HIV/AIDS and girls' education. "Disney's donation to UNICEF will help us continue our legacy of coming to the aid of children when it's needed most," said Anne-Marie Grey, chief of the Private Sector Division for UNICEF. "On behalf of UNICEF, I want to thank the company for its dedication to children and for this generous gift."

8 Continued In another of the evening's memorable moments, Rasulo presented UNICEF with a doll designed for the "it's a small world" attraction. Now in its 40th year, "it's a small world" continues to enchant Guests from all over the world. The attraction is found in four of five of Disney's destinations around the world: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Paris and Tokyo Disneyland. "Disney's relationship with UNICEF spans back to the early 1960s when, together with UNICEF, Walt Disney created the "it's a small world" attraction for the World's Fair in New York," said Rasulo. "Our commitment to helping children around the globe is just as strong today as it was then - and we are proud to continue to support UNICEF's global efforts." The beloved "it's a small world" attraction actually resulted from the partnership between UNICEF and Walt Disney, who agreed to have his Imagineers design the UNICEF Pavilion for the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair. After the New York World's Fair closed, "it's a small world" moved to Disneyland in California, and the attraction has been entertaining guests there since 1966. The Walt Disney Company Foundation's donation to UNICEF comes during the organization's 60th anniversary celebration. Those in attendance at the gala dinner included CEOs and chairmen of the world's foremost travel and tourism businesses, Cabinet Ministers, senior government officials and influential journalists from around the globe. It is the only body representing the private sector in all parts of the travel & tourism industry worldwide. In addition to The Walt Disney Company Foundation's charitable efforts, Disney Worldwide Outreach brightens the lives of children and families through key partnerships with charitable organizations, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation®, First Book, Toys for Tots, Starlight Starbright and Boys & Girls Clubs of America, to name a few. In 2005, Disney contributed more than $190 million in cash, in-kind support and public service airtime globally, while Disney Volunteers contributed more than 442,000 hours to outreach projects around the world. (

9 In summary those who work in the Disney sweatshops are overworked and underpaid. Most work 100 hours a week with no sick days or maternity leave. They are beaten if they disobey and will be docked a days pay. They have dangerous working conditions, no clean drinking water, and little food. If they speak out they are beaten. Most cannot survive off their income let alone raise a family. Some make as little as seven cents or as little as three dollars and eighteen cents a week. Most of the time they are cheated out of their overtime and are routinely slapped and punched for not working fast enough. For these people a “Code of Conduct” does not exist and there is no such thing as a happy ending.

10 Dear Walt Disney Corporation, Firstly we would like to introduce ourselves as grade twelve students from Minto Memorial High School who are taking a Media Studies course. It has recently been brought to our attention that you have been misusing your workers in Bangladesh as well as China and we as a class would like to tell you how ethically wrong this is. You treat these individuals more like animals than you do as actual human beings. We as a class have agreed that something must be done to stop this heinous abuse of human life. We believe that you should increase their wages and create a better working environment free of violence and unneeded brutality. You should also decrease their hours worked and give them maternity leave in addition to sufficient health benefits. We would also like to see you give them clean drinking water, a nutritious diet, and a positive working environment in which their opinions are valued. If these demands are not met we will be forced to boycott all Disney products not only in our class but within our school as well. We hope that you consider and value our opinions and suggestions and hope that you take them to heart and changes are made. Sincerely, Concerned students

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