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Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights report on Hasbro claims sweatshop conditions


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#81 Blueshift

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 06:42 PM

QUOTE(Darkstream @ Dec 19 2011, 06:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The flaw is that even IF hasbro moved, another company would take its place and the conditions would continue.


"Everyone else is being unethical, therefore it is okay for me to be unethical too"

#82 tec

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 06:43 PM

As stated earlyer Im glad this report exsist

But you had to be aware this was a possabilaty from the outset this is not shocking or new news I seen such things before (I.E Mattel) it so happens that this time Hasbro is (and should) be investagated. I hope change does occur and it should but this type of report is nothing new
Not to me anyway



#83 Sheba

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 06:45 PM

QUOTE(Autobus Prime @ Dec 19 2011, 03:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE(Sheba @ Dec 19 2011, 06:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
However in the broader category of "I don't want the Chinese Far Right Conservative sleeping on bedbug mattresses and working 12 hours with hardly any bathroombreaks", the solution there is pretty much Invade China and take over.


S:

No, the solution is to say, "institute breaks, disinfect the dorms, serve better food, and clean up your act, or we pull our $$$$$ toyline out of your plant". And then enforce it. Motivated by the public embarassment generated by a widely circulated report, which isn't yet widely circulated. Motivated by common decency.

Which would also result in better quality, because if you hug with people, you hug the quality of your product. I've worked in bottom-feeder shops where they hugged around with people, and that never works. Prices might even go down. Bad quality and rework costs money.


The problem is China's got the factory's back, not Hasbro's or ours (or the workers' for that matter). How much you want to bet if anyone tried to enforce the law, that China would actually be working against it?

You forget, we're motivated by decency. China's rulers haven't been for a very, very long time. They're hardasses, and they believe they need to be compassionless hardasses in order to keep control. Pretty much the entire population of China would have to turn on the Leaders simultaneously and overwhelm their Tienamen Square tactics somehow. Like, civil war.
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#84 Darkstream

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 06:47 PM

QUOTE(Blueshift @ Dec 19 2011, 06:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE(Darkstream @ Dec 19 2011, 06:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The flaw is that even IF hasbro moved, another company would take its place and the conditions would continue.


"Everyone else is being unethical, therefore it is okay for me to be unethical too"


No.

#85 Chip

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 06:53 PM

Okay, so let's say that Hasbro can't fix this on their own. Let's say that without a change in the law to keep companies on a level playing field, it might be suicide for Hasbro to fix its manufacturing practices while its competitors go right on using sweatshops. Could be. But if that's the case, Hasbro still has leverage I don't have. If a change in the law really is needed, Hasbro can credibly argue for that; I'm just some guy. The only levers I can use to move Hasbro toward that are my wallet and a couple of forum accounts, and I'm going to pull on those levers.

The whole mess of who on this board is morally superior to who is totally irrelevant. My American lifestyle is absolutely subsidized by the suffering of others, and me living in a mud hut isn't going to accomplish anything. But I can still try to make things better.

#86 Autobus Prime

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 06:55 PM

QUOTE(mignash @ Dec 19 2011, 06:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE(Autobus Prime @ Dec 19 2011, 06:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE(Sheba @ Dec 19 2011, 06:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
However in the broader category of "I don't want the Chinese Far Right Conservative sleeping on bedbug mattresses and working 12 hours with hardly any bathroombreaks", the solution there is pretty much Invade China and take over.


S:

No, the solution is to say, "institute breaks, disinfect the dorms, serve better food, and clean up your act, or we pull our $$$$$ toyline out of your plant". And then enforce it. Motivated by the public embarassment generated by a widely circulated report, which isn't yet widely circulated. Motivated by common decency.


So, basically you want them to treat the slave labor better? May be nice in the short term, but that doesn't fix the issue.


No, Matt, it doesn't fix the issue. The issue exists on both sides of the ocean, where corporations use economic fear to extort labor from people. It's the same issue, whether it's, "Work compulsory overtime or we'll move the plant overseas" or "Work compulsory overtime or we'll send you back to rural China, where you'll have even less", because they would.

The wage this plant pays, at peak time, if it kept up all year, would put someone just at the ragged lower edge of the Chinese middle class. Does that sound like a familiar carrot? Of course it doesn't work out that way, and the end result is a life that sucks, but not to a degree that would impel someone to leave the city. Does that situation sound familiar?

2000 theoretical RMB a month, spent on living in China, is equivalent to a rather larger amount in the US. Rather larger than a theoretical minimum wage, I would say.

So, no, it doesn't fix the issue. You're right. But quietism is wrong. War, as Sheba humorously suggested, solves absolutely nothing except to incur destruction and hardship on the common people like you and Mi, while mildly inconveniencing or profiting the wealthy. She really meant to say that there was no way to simply fix the underlying issue.

But I say we fix the problem that can be fixed. Don't avoid changing the bulb, just because it will only burn out again. Corporations can be motivated by embarassment, so instead of throwing our hands up, let's embarass the hell out of Hasbro until they address this one plant. Every movement has to start somewhere.

Edited by Autobus Prime, 19 December 2011 - 07:00 PM.





#87 Autobus Prime

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 07:00 PM

QUOTE(Sheba @ Dec 19 2011, 06:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE(Autobus Prime @ Dec 19 2011, 03:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE(Sheba @ Dec 19 2011, 06:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
However in the broader category of "I don't want the Chinese Far Right Conservative sleeping on bedbug mattresses and working 12 hours with hardly any bathroombreaks", the solution there is pretty much Invade China and take over.


S:

No, the solution is to say, "institute breaks, disinfect the dorms, serve better food, and clean up your act, or we pull our $$$$$ toyline out of your plant". And then enforce it. Motivated by the public embarassment generated by a widely circulated report, which isn't yet widely circulated. Motivated by common decency.

Which would also result in better quality, because if you hug with people, you hug the quality of your product. I've worked in bottom-feeder shops where they hugged around with people, and that never works. Prices might even go down. Bad quality and rework costs money.


The problem is China's got the factory's back, not Hasbro's or ours (or the workers' for that matter). How much you want to bet if anyone tried to enforce the law, that China would actually be working against it?

You forget, we're motivated by decency. China's rulers haven't been for a very, very long time. They're hardasses, and they believe they need to be compassionless hardasses in order to keep control. Pretty much the entire population of China would have to turn on the Leaders simultaneously and overwhelm their Tienamen Square tactics somehow. Like, civil war.


S:

Rulers suck, but that wasn't my point. Civil war sucks, but that's a separate point.

I meant that if Hasbro was embarrassed enough to act, then Hasbro should be motivated by decency to continue enforcing standards after the public outcry, if one happens, has blown over. That's why I mentioned 'decency', which in the corporate sense means, 'we're worried people are going to embarass us again'.

The factory owners are motivated by money. Chinese industrialists are damned Yankees just like we are.

I'm not attacking you, Sheba, or anybody else, please understand. I just feel strongly that any degree of acceptance is exactly what the damned corporations want from us.

Edited by Autobus Prime, 19 December 2011 - 07:07 PM.





#88 Kickstrike

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 07:08 PM

QUOTE(Blueshift @ Dec 19 2011, 06:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Personally I would like to believe in the 21st century that companies behave ethically, it isn't really much to ask

It kinda is when you get down to the core value of any company: make a profit and minimize expenses. Basically, corporations will go to any scummy lengths imaginable to minimize what THEY pay and maximize what they earn. Pretty much every company, from Disney to Nintendo to Apple to Ford, has at some point done horribly unethical things, and many of these companies continue to do so today.

Sadly, ethics don't matter to organizations whose sole purpose is to make money. I want to change it, but it'd be nigh-impossible to make all the corporations in the world behave honestly, short of dismantling them and replacing them with people who actually ARE good and not just soulless scumbags like the vast majority of CEOs.

Edited by Spin Out, 19 December 2011 - 07:10 PM.

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#89 Sheba

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 07:10 PM

QUOTE(Autobus Prime @ Dec 19 2011, 04:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE(Sheba @ Dec 19 2011, 06:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE(Autobus Prime @ Dec 19 2011, 03:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE(Sheba @ Dec 19 2011, 06:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
However in the broader category of "I don't want the Chinese Far Right Conservative sleeping on bedbug mattresses and working 12 hours with hardly any bathroombreaks", the solution there is pretty much Invade China and take over.


S:

No, the solution is to say, "institute breaks, disinfect the dorms, serve better food, and clean up your act, or we pull our $$$$$ toyline out of your plant". And then enforce it. Motivated by the public embarassment generated by a widely circulated report, which isn't yet widely circulated. Motivated by common decency.

Which would also result in better quality, because if you hug with people, you hug the quality of your product. I've worked in bottom-feeder shops where they hugged around with people, and that never works. Prices might even go down. Bad quality and rework costs money.


The problem is China's got the factory's back, not Hasbro's or ours (or the workers' for that matter). How much you want to bet if anyone tried to enforce the law, that China would actually be working against it?

You forget, we're motivated by decency. China's rulers haven't been for a very, very long time. They're hardasses, and they believe they need to be compassionless hardasses in order to keep control. Pretty much the entire population of China would have to turn on the Leaders simultaneously and overwhelm their Tienamen Square tactics somehow. Like, civil war.


S:

Rulers suck, but that wasn't my point. Civil war sucks, but that's a separate point.

I meant that if Hasbro was embarrassed enough to act, then Hasbro should be motivated by decency to continue enforcing standards after the public outcry, if one happens, has blown over. That's why I mentioned 'decency', which in the corporate sense means, 'we're worried people are going to embarass us again'.

The factory owners are motivated by money. Chinese industrialists are damned Yankees just like we are.


Many Chinese industrialists are also part of the government power structure over there. They aren't particularly worried about what everybody else thinks. They're like "Sure, why can't I treat this political dissident like crap? It's part of their punishment for speaking out against Censorship and Tienamen Square and such." They are not simply motivated by money, though that is a large part of it. They take pleasure in the suffering of people that disagree with them, and that is a lot harder to break a person out of.

Yeah, Hasbro would be shamed and would act. They for damn sure need to pick factories that are NOT owned by the Chinese government members that utilize prisoner labor. Which it seems these factories likely are in large part because the workers live in "dorms" on-site.
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#90 Hecate

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 07:12 PM

Chinese factories do suck. But China itself is growing in wealth and numbers in the middle class thanks to the economy, so eventually this stuff will all even out I hope.

#91 Autobus Prime

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 07:16 PM

QUOTE(Sheba @ Dec 19 2011, 07:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE(Autobus Prime @ Dec 19 2011, 04:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE(Sheba @ Dec 19 2011, 06:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE(Autobus Prime @ Dec 19 2011, 03:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE(Sheba @ Dec 19 2011, 06:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
However in the broader category of "I don't want the Chinese Far Right Conservative sleeping on bedbug mattresses and working 12 hours with hardly any bathroombreaks", the solution there is pretty much Invade China and take over.


S:

No, the solution is to say, "institute breaks, disinfect the dorms, serve better food, and clean up your act, or we pull our $$$$$ toyline out of your plant". And then enforce it. Motivated by the public embarassment generated by a widely circulated report, which isn't yet widely circulated. Motivated by common decency.

Which would also result in better quality, because if you hug with people, you hug the quality of your product. I've worked in bottom-feeder shops where they hugged around with people, and that never works. Prices might even go down. Bad quality and rework costs money.


The problem is China's got the factory's back, not Hasbro's or ours (or the workers' for that matter). How much you want to bet if anyone tried to enforce the law, that China would actually be working against it?

You forget, we're motivated by decency. China's rulers haven't been for a very, very long time. They're hardasses, and they believe they need to be compassionless hardasses in order to keep control. Pretty much the entire population of China would have to turn on the Leaders simultaneously and overwhelm their Tienamen Square tactics somehow. Like, civil war.


S:

Rulers suck, but that wasn't my point. Civil war sucks, but that's a separate point.

I meant that if Hasbro was embarrassed enough to act, then Hasbro should be motivated by decency to continue enforcing standards after the public outcry, if one happens, has blown over. That's why I mentioned 'decency', which in the corporate sense means, 'we're worried people are going to embarass us again'.

The factory owners are motivated by money. Chinese industrialists are damned Yankees just like we are.


Many Chinese industrialists are also part of the government power structure over there. They aren't particularly worried about what everybody else thinks. They're like "Sure, why can't I treat this political dissident like crap? It's part of their punishment for speaking out against Censorship and Tienamen Square and such." They are not simply motivated by money, though that is a large part of it. They take pleasure in the suffering of people that disagree with them, and that is a lot harder to break a person out of.

Yeah, Hasbro would be shamed and would act. They for damn sure need to pick factories that are NOT owned by the Chinese government members that utilize prisoner labor. Which it seems these factories likely are in large part because the workers live in "dorms" on-site.


S:

A lot of Chinese workers live in dorms; a lot of them migrate to the city from rural China, where they have a lot less. Suppose you were living in the hinterlands in a shack, scraping by, and somebody offered you a wage of $2000 a month, with food and housing provided for a nominal cost? Will train?

That's what this situation looks like...from afar. Once you get there, it's not so good - but back home was even worse, so you stay. Please do read the report and especially the workers' comments; it really brings home how this is not some terribly alien situation, but something we could see ourselves getting into, with some adjustment to numbers.

Edited by Autobus Prime, 19 December 2011 - 07:18 PM.





#92 Sheba

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 07:18 PM

QUOTE(Autobus Prime @ Dec 19 2011, 04:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE(Sheba @ Dec 19 2011, 07:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE(Autobus Prime @ Dec 19 2011, 04:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE(Sheba @ Dec 19 2011, 06:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE(Autobus Prime @ Dec 19 2011, 03:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE(Sheba @ Dec 19 2011, 06:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
However in the broader category of "I don't want the Chinese Far Right Conservative sleeping on bedbug mattresses and working 12 hours with hardly any bathroombreaks", the solution there is pretty much Invade China and take over.


S:

No, the solution is to say, "institute breaks, disinfect the dorms, serve better food, and clean up your act, or we pull our $$$$$ toyline out of your plant". And then enforce it. Motivated by the public embarassment generated by a widely circulated report, which isn't yet widely circulated. Motivated by common decency.

Which would also result in better quality, because if you hug with people, you hug the quality of your product. I've worked in bottom-feeder shops where they hugged around with people, and that never works. Prices might even go down. Bad quality and rework costs money.


The problem is China's got the factory's back, not Hasbro's or ours (or the workers' for that matter). How much you want to bet if anyone tried to enforce the law, that China would actually be working against it?

You forget, we're motivated by decency. China's rulers haven't been for a very, very long time. They're hardasses, and they believe they need to be compassionless hardasses in order to keep control. Pretty much the entire population of China would have to turn on the Leaders simultaneously and overwhelm their Tienamen Square tactics somehow. Like, civil war.


S:

Rulers suck, but that wasn't my point. Civil war sucks, but that's a separate point.

I meant that if Hasbro was embarrassed enough to act, then Hasbro should be motivated by decency to continue enforcing standards after the public outcry, if one happens, has blown over. That's why I mentioned 'decency', which in the corporate sense means, 'we're worried people are going to embarass us again'.

The factory owners are motivated by money. Chinese industrialists are damned Yankees just like we are.


Many Chinese industrialists are also part of the government power structure over there. They aren't particularly worried about what everybody else thinks. They're like "Sure, why can't I treat this political dissident like crap? It's part of their punishment for speaking out against Censorship and Tienamen Square and such." They are not simply motivated by money, though that is a large part of it. They take pleasure in the suffering of people that disagree with them, and that is a lot harder to break a person out of.

Yeah, Hasbro would be shamed and would act. They for damn sure need to pick factories that are NOT owned by the Chinese government members that utilize prisoner labor. Which it seems these factories likely are in large part because the workers live in "dorms" on-site.


S:

A lot of Chinese workers live in dorms; a lot of them migrate to the city from rural China, where they have a lot less. Suppose you were living in the hinterlands in a shack, scraping by, and somebody offered you a wage of $2500 a month, with food and housing provided for a nominal cost? Will train?

That's what this situation looks like...from afar. Once you get there, it's not so good - but back home was even worse, so you stay. Please do read the report and especially the workers' comments; it really brings home how this is not some terribly alien situation, but something we could see ourselves getting into, with some adjustment to numbers.


Oh yeah, I know all about that. But it is a fact that China also uses a lot of prisoners for labor. Normal peasants that go in to work get the same crap the political prisoners get, for whatever reason.
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#93 Sheba

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 07:19 PM

QUOTE(Hora Hora @ Dec 19 2011, 04:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Chinese factories do suck. But China itself is growing in wealth and numbers in the middle class thanks to the economy, so eventually this stuff will all even out I hope.


That's more or less what happened in the West, though that was only made possible via Unions. Need Unions in China so bad...but also a government that will allow Unions.
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#94 Spark

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 07:28 PM

QUOTE(Sheba @ Dec 19 2011, 06:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
However in the broader category of "I don't want the Chinese Far Right Conservative sleeping on bedbug mattresses and working 12 hours with hardly any bathroombreaks", the solution there is pretty much Invade China and take over.

I imagine said Chinese Far Right Conservatives sleeping on bedbug mattresses would be less vindictive towards the western world if they weren't being worked to death for us.

That said, I did about the only thing I can do and e-mailed Hasbro pointing out the report, how it's at odds with their code of ethics, that the factory in question is explicitly linked to one of their most lucrative toylines and a flagship of their fledgling TV station, and that it would rather hurt investor confidence. I imagine I'll be answered with a form letter with 48 hours about, "Thanks for expressing your concerns," and that's the last I'll hear of it.

Hasbro, while they can be made aware of the matter, probably can't do much. If you wanted something done, you'd have to have Wal-Mart do it, seeing as they're something like China's third largest trade partner among the rest of the nations in the world, and Wal-Mart is one of the single largest controlling factors in the prices set by companies on their products. The sad truth, of course, is that Wal-Mart does not care, and you boycotting Wal-Mart makes no difference as it has several million other customers to make up for you. Perhaps you'll cause the price of a size of Tupperware to go up a thousandth of a cent.

Edited by Spark, 19 December 2011 - 07:29 PM.

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#95 Blueshift

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 07:32 PM

QUOTE(Spark @ Dec 19 2011, 07:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hasbro, while they can be made aware of the matter, probably can't do much.


That's not true though. Presumably as part of their contract with the factory there are ethical requirements. If the factory is not fulfilling these requirements, then they can get rid of them and take their business elsewhere. Hasbro need to be actually checking up on the places that make their products to ensure that they are doing what they are being paid to do, rather than turning a blind eye for conveniance sake.



#96 Autobus Prime

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 07:33 PM

Folks:

If outrage had no power, DOTM the movie would have Skids and Mudflap, and PCC would have Spastic.




#97 Sheba

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 07:39 PM

QUOTE(Blueshift @ Dec 19 2011, 04:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE(Spark @ Dec 19 2011, 07:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hasbro, while they can be made aware of the matter, probably can't do much.


That's not true though. Presumably as part of their contract with the factory there are ethical requirements. If the factory is not fulfilling these requirements, then they can get rid of them and take their business elsewhere. Hasbro need to be actually checking up on the places that make their products to ensure that they are doing what they are being paid to do, rather than turning a blind eye for conveniance sake.


Yeah Hasbro has GOT to stop being lazy.
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#98 mx-01 archon

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 07:48 PM

QUOTE(Autobus Prime @ Dec 19 2011, 04:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If outrage had no power, DOTM the movie would have Skids and Mudflap, and PCC would have Spastic.


Someone really should put Outrage on a leash. That bastard.

On both counts.

Edited by mx-01 archon, 19 December 2011 - 07:48 PM.


#99 Spark

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 07:55 PM

QUOTE(Blueshift @ Dec 19 2011, 07:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE(Spark @ Dec 19 2011, 07:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hasbro, while they can be made aware of the matter, probably can't do much.


That's not true though. Presumably as part of their contract with the factory there are ethical requirements. If the factory is not fulfilling these requirements, then they can get rid of them and take their business elsewhere. Hasbro need to be actually checking up on the places that make their products to ensure that they are doing what they are being paid to do, rather than turning a blind eye for conveniance sake.

I made note of this being a breach of their corporate ethics as stated on the website. I'll be interested to see if this backfires in the way reporting stolen stuff on eBay seems to have, with three body searches a day (something absent on the 2008 report, so it's almost certainly a direct result), or actually changes anything.
Fall of Cybertron will blow your mind. That is all.

#100 ▲ndrusi

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 08:18 PM

QUOTE(Fulcrum @ Dec 19 2011, 06:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE(▲ndrusi @ Dec 19 2011, 11:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You seem to be pretty convinced you aren't just asking Hasbro to wave their magic wand and fix everything, and I'm trying to figure out what you are asking Hasbro to do.


I'm asking Hasbro to hold their factories to stricter conditions. I've made this pretty clear. It is not my job to work out how this is done. If Hasbro wants to claim that they're an ethical company (and wants my money), then they'll find a way to do this, in a way that does not seriously damage their bottom line.

You seem pretty convinced that basic workers rights are impossible and we shouldn't bother to suggest otherwise!

After some travel time, I've been forced to read back over the thread to catch up. I think I've been misunderstanding your position all along, and there have also been some points made in the meantime.

If we get Hasbro to do something, what we're probably going to get Hasbro to do is break off all relations with this factory. A larger success would be that they go over all their other factories and try to determine which ones aren't complying with their policy, and break it off with all of them as well. Probably the best outcome that could be reasonably hoped for would be for Hasbro to withdraw from China entirely and move all production to someplace better. Unfortunately, as others have already pointed out, Hasbro doesn't have enough straw to break the camel's back. Not only that, but the bigger our success is, the more short-term harm it'll inflict on the workers, as the report describes them being unjustly fired when things slow down.

Of course, the only alternative I can suggest is "don't do anything," and that has zero chance of accomplishing anything. Like Spark said earlier, what we really need to do is take down Wal-Mart somehow, but hahaha yeah right.

So, basically, count me in, but I'm really pessimistic about it.

QUOTE(orionpax44 @ Jun 24 2012, 01:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Childrens toys? whaa the boxes seriously say ages 5+ I consider myself the plus.
QUOTE(mx-01 archon @ Sep 9 2012, 01:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You're talking to ▲ndrusi. Assume everything that he posts is snark.



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