Chinese work 16 hours a day to make Olympic toys

July 25th, 2012 - 5:43 pm ICT by IANS  

London, July 25 (IANS) Workers in sweatshops across China who are making toys of London Olympic mascots Wenlock and Mandeville are toiling for up to 16 hours a day in hazardous conditions, a British media report said.

The Chinese workers are being paid just six pounds a day ($9), but plastic figures of the mascots are sold for up to 10 pounds ($15) each, the Daily Mail reported.

Workers at a factory in Guangdong province are allegedly being docked half a day’s pay for being five minutes late.

Activists who interviewed workers at the Xinda facility in Guangdong said employees worked six-day weeks of up to 12 hours a day, three times the legal overtime allowed under Chinese labour laws.

At another factory in Shenzhen that is also producing toys for the games, people are working long shifts, 8 a.m. till midnight.

Sacom — or Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour — a workers’ rights group in Hong Kong, also claimed workers would be fined one-and-a-half days’ salary if they were more than five minutes late.

Two such incidents would see them docked six days salary, according to the report.

Earlier this year, similar complaints were made about another Chinese factory producing Wenlock and Mandeville toys for the Olympics.

The factory making toys for Shropshire-based Golden Bear was said to be breaching workers’ rights by making them labour for 11.5 hours a day for as little as 26 pence an hour, the Daily Mail said.

The London games organising committee said it has independently reviewed the two factories, and claimed “no issues were found”.

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