A Wal-Mart Christmas – Brought to you from a Sweatshop in China
At Wal-Mart, Christmas ornaments are cheap, and so are the lives of the young workers in China who make them.
The Guangzhou Huanya Gift company describes itself as being “among the top three Christmas ornament producers in mainland China,” with “long term, friendly, collaborative relationships with industry leaders Wal-Mart…” There are 8,000 workers in the factory.
At the Guangzhou Ornaments factory, every single labor law in China, along with internationally recognized worker rights standards, are being systematically violated on a daily basis.
Ten to 12 to 15-hour shifts, seven days a week are the norm during the long, eight-month busy season. Workers can go for months without a single day off. At a minimum, workers are at the factory an average of 84 ¼ hours a week, while toiling 77 hours. However, at least half the workers, some 4,000 people, are routinely at the factory 105 ¼ hours a week and working 95 hours, including 55 hours of overtime, which exceeds China’s legal limit by 562 percent. Any working daring to take a Sunday off will be docked 2 ½ days’ wages as punishment.
Workers were pressured to sign a “voluntary” Overtime Application Form in which they “agree” to work more than three hours overtime a day, to work on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, and with no guaranteed minimum wage or overtime premium.