New Internationalist

Not lovin’ it

October 2006

Protests by Chinese workers, manufacturing the garish plastic toys McDonald’s uses to lure children through its golden arches, descended into a riot last month. China Labor Watch reports that 1,000 of the 10,000 workers who live and work in the Hong Kong factory took part. Many were injured and dozens arrested. The protestors, who also make toys for Disney, Mattel and Warner, claimed to be suffering under terrible working conditions. ‘Chinese workers live at the bottom of society,’ commented Li Qiang, China Labor Watch Director. ‘They have no means to voice their needs or to protect their lawful rights. Workers will only stand up and fight when their situation is so miserable that they do not have any other options… McDonald’s and Mattel have not lived up to their social responsibilities as large corporations, and have not respected their own codes of conduct.’

For more information, visit http://www.chinalaborwatch.org

This column was published in the October 2006 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

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