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Disney - the Kingdom of Child Labor Violations
If I may, I'd like to preface this little page by telling the Nice Lawyer who sent me letters threatening to "pursue legal action" if I continue to leave this page up and the Mickey background tile (feel free to steal it...spread the love) that he/they/them can kiss my lilly white ass for three reasons : 1} this is all documented in the public domain and 2) perhaps this has somehow been "remedied and is no longer pertinent to being reported as current news and belies a fraudulent impression" but I say Bullshit, prove you fixed it. 3} I basically own a 12 year old car and a semi-respectable collection of Plasticware from The Boston Market. Suing me for *what* would be the question you would need to ask yourself. Plus, my door bell is broken, so you'd look awfully stupid standing out on the front lawn with your briefcases and lit torches and pitchforks or whatever You People stop by with to be Scary, yelling up at the window so someone in the building will buzz you in.

Anyway.

If you have anything "Disney", you own something made in a Disney sweatshop. Yes, I said "sweatshop". Yep, even now, even today. This is how Disney does business.

Included in the Happy Meals sold at McDonalds are small toys based on characters from Disney films. According to McDonald's senior vice-president Brad Ball, the Happy Meals characters from the "101 Dalmatians" movie were the most successful in McDonald's history. Ball said, "As we embark on our new global alliance, we anticipate ten great years of unbeatable family fun as customers enjoy 'the magic of Disney' only at McDonald's" (PR Newswire Associates, March 19, 1997).

Seventeen year old women are forced to work 9 to 10 hours a day, seven days a week, earning as little as six cents an hour in the Keyhinge factory in Da Nang City, Vietnam making popular giveaway promotional toys - many of which are Disney characters for McDonald's Happy Meals. Overtime is mandatory. And no, six cents an hour isn't a fortune there - it's well below subsistence levels. The most basic meal in Vietnam - rice, vegetables, and tofu - costs 70 cents. Three meals would cost $2.10. Wages do not even cover 20 per cent of the daily food and travel costs for a single worker, let alone her family. We're not doing them any favors, nor even helping then in a basic human way by trading hard work for a better quality of life .

Acute or prolonged exposure to acetone, a chemical solvent used to make and paint plastic toys, can cause dizziness, unconsciousness, damage to the liver and kidneys and chronic eye, nose, throat and skin irritation. After working a 70 hour week, some of the teenage women take home a salary of only $4.20. Many are made ill by constant chemical exposure. All appeals from local human and labor rights groups continue to be rejected by Keyhinge management which refuses to improve the ventilation system in the factory or remedy other unsafe working conditions. Along with demanding forced overtime, Keyhinge management has not made legally required payments for health insurance coverage for its employees, who now receive no compensation for injury or sickness.

For years, Disney was one of the most active members in UNICEF, an organization dedicated to the protection of children's rights including protection from sexual exploitation and child labor, specifically. Disney is well aware of all the violations and conditions of all their factories. The organizations listed in this article have made them aware. Yet they continue to use them to make their stuff.

In 1995 Federal Agents raided 2 sweat shops in Los Angeles which manufactured Disney stuff. Yes, good old L.A. We're not talking Viet Nam, thousands of miles away anymore...we're talking Los Angeles! Woah! One was the Nathan J. Co. who was using kids as young as 12 to make Disney Apparel. The other was the "Too Cute' Disney Label which, on top of using kids for workers, owed a lot of money in back wages. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, most of the folks working in the "Too Cute" factory were Thai Nationals working off debts to professional smugglers who got them into the country. Only it was a debt that never got paid because it turned into a slavery kind of situation.

The truth of the matter is that Disney licensees have been caught using Child labor on three continents and the National Labor Committee in New York, whose job it is to track the labor force hiring of U.S. Corporations, considers Disney one of 'the worst offenders". And this has gone on for years and years. And you'd think Disney would be extra extra careful about it, wouldn't you? I guess it's easier to just blow it off, cover it up and continue using kids to make your shit for you.

Charles Kernaghan of the National Labor Committee said , "People who are making Disney shirts are living in utter misery". Oh, those are made in Burma, by the way, where 80% of our heroin also comes from, according to the State Department. That's basically what the line of thought is: the profits not going to the workers making the Disney stuff is going to the drug lords. Seriously. In Haiti they make all the "Hunchback of Notre Dame", "Pohahontas", Mickey Mouse" and "Lion King" garments. The "Mickey for Kids" and "Classic Apparel", too. Hong Kong and Viet Nam kids make the Happy Meals. Chinese child labor make the "Little Mermaid", "Toy Story" and "Minnie Mouse" stuff. In fact 3 workers died out there after inhaling fumes from solvents.

Joe Allen went undercover for NBC News to investigate the sweat shops that make Disney items and said, "In some cases kids have hands eaten away by solvents". In Indonesia he found kids as young as 12 sewing Disney stuffed/plush toys. The owner proudly told him he prefers to use kids as his work force because they're "easier to control".

Remember this next time you take a cruise through McDonald's and just have to have that new Disney Happy Meal action figure.

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