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Defective Chinese toys stem from bad working conditions

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Problems with toys made in China are once again getting attention from lawmakers in Washington. At a hearing Thursday they learned the defective toys are the end product from an assembly line of misery. Long hours, little pay, abusive bosses -- the conditions are deplorable at Chinese toy factories, according to workers rights advocates. Charles Kernaghan is the National Labor Committee Director. He said, "The routine shift is 14 hours a day, from 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., six days a week. Workers are typically at the factory 87 hours a week, while toiling 70 hours, including 30 hours of forced overtime, which exceeds China's legal limit by 260 percent." Testifying at a Senate hearing Thursday morning investigators talked about the sweat-shop conditions they discovered in the factories where so many US toys and sporting goods are made. Kernaghan said, "Production line workers are allowed just one minute to assemble each Speedo 'Condor' swim mask, for which they are paid less than two cents." The hearings come on the heels of this summer's toy scare. Millions of toys made in China were recalled due to lead paint concerns. Researchers -- who spent a year investigating factory conditions -- say US toymakers are turning a blind eye to worker conditions in China in the name of profit. Dr. Bama Anthreya with the International Labor Rights Forum said, "On the one hand Wal-mart and others say don't worry, we'll protect workers, and on the other hand they're lobbying the Chinese government not to pass laws to protect their workers." In its defense, the toy industry says it's started an aggressive program to shield Chinese workers from harsh conditions. But the improvements still haven't been implemented at thousands of Chinese toy factories. Past Toy Industry Association chair Peter Eio said, "In two short years we've made great strides, but recognize there is a great deal still to be done."

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Defective American toys stem

Defective American toys stem from defective Americans. I have been in crummy work conditions and I still got my job done properly. Most of the defective stuff from China is just CHEAP!!!! That is what some people are only able to afford though.

"Workers' rights advocates?"

You mean pro-union Socialists, deperately trying to bring low-end manufacturing jobs back to the United States? Good luck, suckers! Adapt and learn to live in the global economy, or fall by the wayside.

Wayside

Maybe we"ll see you there.

There are no guarantees in life

I, like anyone, could "fall by the wayside." When it comes to your future, however, the more studying, planning, and preparation you undertake helps to decrease the chance of that happening. During the Industrial Revolution the Luddites used to burn factories and destroy the steam powered looms that were taking away their textile manufacturing jobs. The modern equivalent of that is endlessly complaining about workers in China, India, Pakistan, the Phillipines, et al, who are willing to make an item identical to the one you once produced for one quarter of the wages you received. The age of tariffs and protectionism is gone, just as the age of weaving cloth on hand-looms had to go. We have a true global economy, and this nation should be glad for that. It benefits far more people than it hurts.

china

Common: Why wouldn't you want the jobs back here? Is that what you mean? You know any jobs brought back to the USA would be nice. I for one am sick of buying crap made in China when i can find NOTHING made here any more. I would pay more for something made here but I don't have a the time to search all the shops for it. One more thing WAL-MART SUX the BIG one.

Das, we did it to ourselves

The Global economy had a "Hallmark Moment" in 1980, when it became cheaper to purchase and ship a steel girder from Pohang, Korea to a job site in New York City, than to bring a steel girder in from the unionized mills of Western Pennsylvania or the Ohio Valley. You cannot sincerely believe that the reason there is not a single television set manufactured in America any longer is because we only want to buy that "junk" made by Sony, Panasonic, Pioneer, et al. When you pay $4.99 for that package of three undershirts at Wal-Mart, undershirts that will last as long as anything previously made up in Davidson County, you are saving the additional three to four dollars it would have cost to pay ILGWU negotiated wages for American workers. You are then free to spend that money on other products, invest it, or simply save it for a rainy day. You and millions of Americans are actually better off because of those Sri Lankan undershirts. Wal-Mart has saved Americans TRILLIONS of dollars that could then be used elsewhere.

true

I grew up in Charlotte knew the Cannon Mills well. I agree that products are made cheaper elsewhere and we have all saved money from it but, wouldn't it be nice to see "made in America" again?

Curtis Mathes proved otherwise

They hung on for a few years as the last television set made in America, but eventually, they had to cease production. "Made in America" didn't count for very much when that label alone cost you a few hundred dollars. Americans it seems not only vote their wallets, they live them. Everyone talks the good talk about American jobs and sending our manufacturing jobs overseas, but put some union-made American undershirts next to those Sri Lankan made undershirts and see which sell. If they're of equal quality (and with most consumables, they are), we will always choose lower cost. None of this is to say that our place in the global economy doesn't pose domestic risks. There are three that immediately come to mind: * As we move from from a manufacturing to a mixed maufacturing/service based economy, can the service portion of the economy absorb all the displaced workers from low-end manufacturing? We don't need to re-make the French or Bolshevik Revolution. * Are we allowing too many strategic industries to move offshore, industries that could be required for national security? (Ship building, oil, and electronics, for example.) * Is the currently depressed dollar simply stalling an eventual decline in durable goods manufacturing? Caterpillar and John Deere sell big overseas because they're so cheap overseas. If the dollar somehow rebounds (but I don't see happening in my lifetime) Komatsu and CNH make equipment every bit as good as Caterpillar and Deere. Might we see the same thing happen in Moline and Peoria that happened in Greensboro? The only thing any of us can do is stay on top of the World and economic news, and make our decisions accordingly.

Cheap toys, etc.

You said it!!! The only way the citizens can turn things around is by not buying things made over seas. You need to make a choice between just cheaper prices or made in America pride. You can't have both. It's not cheap to live in the United States and lowering salaries to beat out the competition overseas is not feasible. Nobody could live on the wages paid overseas here in the United States. But it is not just the maufacturing jobs that are lost to over seas competition, it is tech jobs too. Than we have to compete for what jobs that are still here with the illegal immigrants or immigrants being brought over here for nursing jobs, IT jobs, etc. Unless the citizens take a stand with companies and government it will only get worse.