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Hasbro workers toil in terrible conditions?

Written by Darren 'Starscream' Jamieson on December 22, 2011 | Hasbro |

When you’re opening and playing with your Transformers on Christmas morning perhaps you should spare a thought for the people who put them together, if a new report on the working conditions in one of Hasbro’s factories in China is anything to go by.

Hasbro-workersAccording to the report, published by, the conditions in Hasbro’s factory leave a lot to be desired. The report is entitled ‘Holidays by Hasbro, Transformers from Hell’ and is 40 pages of condemning documentation and photographs about the conditions. The report states that workers are fed on food that is described as ‘pretty much like swine food’, they sleep in rat infested dorms, work 12 hour shifts at peak times and all for the equivalent of 92 Cents per hour.

The report also states that emergency exits are kept locked, and there are no fire drills.

Perhaps the worst of the highlights is that workers need to ask permission to use the bathroom, are not allowed to even look up and are searched three times a day (presumably in case they try to pinch Transformers).

Possibly the most worrying thing to come out of this news is that a lot of Transformers fan sites have refused to publish this story and, according to one source, IDW has refused to allow discussion of the news on its website. It seems that Hasbro has a lot of power, and to many this news is just too disturbing to mention.

The executive summary is below, and you can read the full report here.

Executive Summary

Jet Fair sweatshop in China produces Hasbro’s Transformers

  • Workers housed in filthy, over-crowded dorms, infested with rats and bed bugs. Workers report they cannot sleep at night from the bed bug bites.
  • Workers describe factory food as “Pretty much like swine food.”
  • Workers allowed less than 9 minutes to assemble each Hasbro Transformer, for which they are paid 17 cents.
  • “We are drenched in sweat,” workers say. Factory temperatures soar to 104 degrees F in summer.
  • During peak season, workers toil 12-hour shifts, seven days a week, while earning a take-home wage of just 92 cents an hour.
  • Workers undergo three body-searches each day, are not permitted to talk or lift their heads to look around, and need permission to use the bathroom.
  • Hasbro is open to the hiring of 14 and 15-year-olds on a “case-by-case basis.”
  • Workers in the spray paint department fear they are being exposed to dangerous solvents.
  • There are no fire drills and some emergency exits are locked.
  • During the slow season, hundreds of workers are fired under false charges so management does not have to pay their legal severance.
  • Workers are cheated of paid sick leave and maternity leave.
  • Workers describe their work as mindless, miserable, constantly monotonous, yet furious and exhausting.

1 Comment »

  1. I have contacted Hasbro regarding this and this the repsonse I have had:

    “Thank you for your email

    Hasbro takes all claims involving working conditions very seriously, and we are immediately investigating. The Company has a strong track record and has had long-standing policies and processes in place for years to help ensure good working conditions, including health and safety, at factories making our products. We strive to conduct business throughout our supply chain in accordance with the highest ethical standards, and we utilize not only ICTI– but also our own on-the-ground workforce– to monitor social compliance.

    For more information about Hasbro’s comprehensive corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities, including more detail regarding Hasbro’s policies and practices related to ethical product manufacturing, please visit

    Kind regards

    Hasbro UK Ltd
    00800 22427276

    I have asked if it would be possible to be kept informed of any developments regarding this matter, as I believe it is important for firms like Hasbro to take responsibility for how their processes and policies impact those further down the foodchain.

    Comment by Simon Hall — December 23, 2011 @ 9:39 am

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