Thu, Aug 16, 2012 - Page 10 News List

Olympic mascots made in Chinese ‘sweatshop’ factories
倫敦奧運吉祥物 來自中國血汗工廠

Jamaica’s Yohan Blake, right, watches as his compatriot Usain Bolt holds up a “Wenlock,” one of the mascots for London 2012 Olympics, at the Olympic Stadium on Aug. 5.

Photo: Reuters

Staff making Wenlock and Mandeville toys say they were paid as little as six pounds a day and forced to work illegal overtime hours.

Activists in China spoke to dozens of factory workers and discovered staff were forced to work up to 120 hours overtime a month, nearly three times the legal limit. At one factory, staff had to buy their own safety masks and were fined half a day’s salary if they were five minutes late to work.

The report has been issued by Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM), a Hong Kong workers’ rights group. SACOM also says staff were exposed to hazardous conditions in the paint spraying department. Some of the 50 workers interviewed said they left the factory constantly covered in paint and even their saliva had changed color.

During the busiest period of production for the Olympics, staff worked six day weeks for 11 to 12 hours a day, clocking up 120 hours a month in overtime — despite Chinese labor laws stating overtime should be no longer than 36 hours a month.

(Liberty Times)






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