Chinese Olympic Firms Deny Abuse

June 10, 2007 at 8:02 pm | Posted in China, News, Olympics, Taiwan, 台灣, 台湾, 奥运, 奧運, 新聞, 新闻, 中国, 中國 | 1 Comment

Michael Bristow in Guangdong, June 10 2007 BBC News

Chinese firms awarded lucrative contracts to produce merchandise related to the Beijing Olympics next year have denied claims they exploit their workers.

They have been accused of employing child labour, paying wages that are below the legal minimum and ignoring safety standards.

But two out of the four firms cited in a report published by an alliance of trades unions, non-governmental organisations and labour groups say they treat their workers well.

Perhaps the most serious accusations in the report relate to Lekit Stationery, a Taiwanese company that has been operating in the city of Dongguan, in Guangdong province, for the last 20 years.

According to the report, Lekit, which makes paper cups, notebooks and stickers adorned with Olympic motifs, employed children and forced them to work up to 13 hours a day.

“It’s not true,” company manager Michael Lee told the BBC. “We work for some of the best brand names in the world and they check our company every month.”

To prove his point, Mr Lee produced a framed certificate that had been hanging on an office wall. It was from a well-known Western stationery company and praised Lekit for its high “standards and practises in dealing with workers and their working environment.”

“It’s not worth it for us to hire 20 or 30 underage workers to increase our capacity. We would lose too much,” said Mr Lee.

He said the factory’s 420 workers earned a basic monthly salary of around 700 yuan (£46; $91). Overtime is paid at time and a half. Dormitory accommodation is free and the firm charges employees 6 yuan a day (£0.40; $0.80) for three meals.

In a bid to further convince the BBC that his company abides by the rules, Mr Lee conducted a tour of his neat-looking factory. It was Sunday, so only a handful of well-dressed workers were folding, stacking and collating paper products.

“There’s complete compliance,” the manager said as he led the tour past employees sitting next to fans that cooled them as they worked.

Outside the factory gates it was impossible to find anyone who could verify the claim that children had been employed at the firm…


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  1. Now is the time to start protesting and boycotting all Beijing 2008 merchandise made in China!

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