8 Dates in Toy Sweatshop History

For the people who make plastic toys, some years were worse than others.

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/28876688@N03/2697297098/">marissaorton</a>/Flickr

Read also: The Good, the Bad, and the Snuggly, MoJo’s gift guide for the little ones on your list. 

Low points in recent toy-sweatshop history, as documented by the National Labor Committee.

1996: Haitians earn 7¢ for each Pocahontas T-shirt sewn; Wal-Mart sells them for $12.

2002: 80% of US toys now made in China.

2002: Guandong workers making toys for Mattel, Sega, and Wal-Mart use bare hands to handle toxic paints, glues, and solvents.

2004: Wal-Mart gives its Chinese toy factories 20 days’ advance notice of inspections.

2007: Chinese workers earn 53¢ an hour making Mattel’s Barbie Hug ‘n Heal Pet Doctor kit.

2008: Chinese teens found working 14 hours a day making Sesame Street toys.

2008: Employees of the Yongsheng Toy Factory spend 93 hours a week making Bratz dolls, with no extra pay for overtime.

2010: The International Council of Toy Industries, toy makers’ “social responsibility” group, still condones the use of 14-year-olds to make toys.


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