The Western producers of the well-known brand names, and the Norwegian importers, on the other hand, claim that this description of reality is incorrect. They argue that they have ensured acceptable working conditions through contractual guidelines and control of production.
NorWatch questions the value of these guidelines and controls, whether they are carried out with or without previous notice, by the Western companies themselves, or by "independent"inspectors. We doubt that the workers within Chinese industry, where the competition for jobs is reckless and an independent labour movement is badly needed, dare to talk freely about the problems they meet in their place of work.
We are concerned that guidelines and inspections have been carried out primarily to satisfy the Western public opinion, and not the Chinese worker. This is disgraceful, in the toy business as in any other business.
Norwatch Newsletter 19/98