Friday, December 22, 2006

Have a Merry Sweatshop Christmas

One of the more popular items around the Christmas tree is finding itself under the spotlight, that due to some rather harsh employment conditions for the Chinese workers that manufacture Bratz dolls.

China Labour Watch, which dedicates itself to cataloguing abuses of workers in China, says that the Christmas rush is the worst thing that can happen to the workers at the Shenzhen plant. They can work up to 94 hours a week as production ramps up to make sure that little Susie and her friends can find one on the back end of Santa’s sleigh.

The workers are paid the equivalent of 17 cents per doll, which retails in North America for over 16 dollars. There have been more than 120 million Bratz sold since the line first launched in 2001.

A bit of financial wizardry that makes for a pretty nice return on investment of labour costs of 17 cents.

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