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Message-ID: <36C610DA.44FF9AE0@yorku.ca>
Date: Sat, 13 Feb 1999 18:55:06 -0500
Sender: Forum on Labor in the Global Economy <LABOR-L@YorkU.CA>
From: Sam Lanfranco <lanfran@YorkU.CA>
Organization: DKProj
Subject: Hong Kong Christian Industrial Committee & Walt Disney Company

From: ALARM (APEC Labour Rights Monitor) <alarm@HK.Super.NET>

To: All Concerned People
From: CHAN Ka Wai
Associate Director of Hong Kong Christian Industrial Committee

An open statement from Chan Kai Wai, Hong Kong Christian Industrial Committee

By CHAN Ka Wai, 10 February 1999

Recently we have found out that a letter (copy below) addressed to the Management of the Walt Disney Company has been circulated in the name of the Hong Kong Christian Industrial Committee (HKCIC). We would like to make it clear that the HKCIC, nor any of our staff, did not draft, make and send this letter. We, therefore, repudiate any responsibility borne by the statement.

In principle, however, we agree to what is being proposed in the letter. Based on our recent field study of Disney's suppliers in South China, the code of conduct of Disney is just a piece of paper. The code is not seriously respected in many factories which produce Disney's products. Most of Disney's suppliers that were covered in the study are brutally violating workers' basic rights and the Chinese Labour Law. Some workers are even forced to work for more than 14 hours a day and 7 days a week. Some workers do not even enjoy the minimum wage. Their wages are deducted by different kinds of charges or fines. They can only get part of wages eventually. Worse still, their wages are always in arrears. They are not protected by any insurance. Regarding the Code of Conduct, seldom of them know about it.

We strongly demand that

1. the Walt Disney Company should take immediate action to make sure that its suppliers will fully respect its code of conduct;

2. an independent monitoring team should be set up which must involve trade unions and NGOs;

3. Regular reports on the progress about implementation of the code of conduct by Disney's partners should be prepared to shareholders of the Walt Disney Company and the reports should also be open to the public.