Hasbro addresses allegations of poor working conditions

Transformers News: Hasbro addresses allegations of poor working conditions

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011 2:52PM CST

Categories: Rumors, Press Releases, Company News
Posted by: GetRightRobot   Views: 129,932

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On December 19th, the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights posted an article on their website accusing Hasbro of poor working conditions and less than adequate pay for workers at the Jet Fair Factory in China. The article can be read here.

In a press release last week, Hasbro addressed the claims of dire working conditions in their Jet Fair Factory stating they have taken the allegations very seriously. They deployed a team to work with I.C.T.I (International Council of Toy Industries) to examine the conditions of the facility. After an unannounced, nine hour inspection, both Hasbro and the I.C.T.I. determined the facility met "Hasbro's rigorous requirements."

The press statement goes on to say "While Hasbro is committed to continual improvement in all facets of corporate social responsibility, including continued ethical product manufacturing at Jet Fair and all factories that produce Hasbro products, the inflammatory allegations made by the NGO in their report were unsubstantiated by our investigation. As a matter of course, Hasbro will continue to monitor conditions at Jet Fair and all of our factories."

Click here to read the entire statement.

As soon the article surfaced, Seibertron.com members began discussing it in the forums. We immediately contacted Hasbro and they sent the following message to Seibertron.com in response to our inquiries to this matter on December 19th, 2011:

"Thank you for checking in with us on this matter. 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 Hasbro.com/csr."
Credit(s): Hasbro
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Re: Hasbro addresses allegations of poor working conditions (1328039)
Posted by LiKwid on December 28th, 2011 @ 5:20pm CST
This whole situation kind of leaves me a little sick to my stomach..Not sure what else to say about it..
Re: Hasbro addresses allegations of poor working conditions (1328045)
Posted by Nekoman on December 28th, 2011 @ 5:37pm CST
Group of dudes A says Hasbro's working conditions are inhumane!

Group of dudes B says Hasbro's working conditions are perfectly fine, the allegations are false.

I'm not going to say who's telling the truth here, but I believe you can chose where you work in China. Even then, if they're willing to work in poor conditions, and are, they probably need that money they earn.
Re: Hasbro addresses allegations of poor working conditions (1328061)
Posted by YoungPrime on December 28th, 2011 @ 6:34pm CST
If these are the same workers responsible for making Bayformers. Then I say let the punishment fit the crime. The should've rallied for a strike as soon as Bay stepped on the scene in 07.
Re: Hasbro addresses allegations of poor working conditions (1328071)
Posted by Envisaged0ne on December 28th, 2011 @ 7:08pm CST
Yeah, Bayformers made billions of dollars. Hasbro has earned so much money from the movies, that they've been able to improve there equipment and quality of the toys they make. Steven Speilberg, Hasbro & Paramount are begging Michael Bay to come back and make the 4th movie. So, how were the "bayformers" a failure? And please use specific factual examples. Not just your opinions
Re: Hasbro addresses allegations of poor working conditions (1328094)
Posted by Megatron Wolf on December 28th, 2011 @ 8:24pm CST
So figure quality continues to drop and now their working conditions are as well, maybe they should stop pocketing the bayformer money and actually put it where it belongs into making their products better and making sure their employees have suitable working conditions & pay grades across the bored not just for the higher ups. I need to find me a new hobby to replace transformers.
Re: Hasbro addresses allegations of poor working conditions (1328099)
Posted by Envisaged0ne on December 28th, 2011 @ 8:31pm CST
How is the quality of the toys poor? Please explain & give examples of how they were better before the Transformer movies came out. Don't just make statements without backing up your opinion with hard facts
Re: Hasbro addresses allegations of poor working conditions (1328105)
Posted by Vicalliose on December 28th, 2011 @ 8:50pm CST
One word: Bullshit.

America's poor child eyes continue to be protected from the harsh realities of what happens when all the world's product labor gets outsourced to a single communist country.

And yeah those people HAVE to work there. It's not like they have much choice, any other factory in China is not going to be much different. And for any factories where you might make decent wages I'd imagine it would be almost impossible to get a job position.

As for the mention of bayformers. The franchise made most of it's money from the films. The toy sales have been somewhat of a crapshoot though and they make far more product then they need to for the respective lines, leaving shelves full of un-bought toys for the following years. I see it that kids are more likely to buy toys based on a television series than on a movie, seeing as a TV series is something they watch once a week and a movie is something they only see once every two years. TV shows will actually keep up their attention span. And yes, I've heard people complain about the quality control allot more since the movies came out. Though my personal experience says that the decline started with Animated. Quantity over quality.
Re: Hasbro addresses allegations of poor working conditions (1328118)
Posted by Evil_the_Nub on December 28th, 2011 @ 9:21pm CST
Envisaged0ne wrote:How is the quality of the toys poor? Please explain & give examples of how they were better before the Transformer movies came out. Don't just make statements without backing up your opinion with hard facts

Don't bother, those guys blame Bay for everything. Somehow it's his fault that working conditions are bad in a factory he is in no way involved with.
Re: Hasbro addresses allegations of poor working conditions (1328123)
Posted by Rated X on December 28th, 2011 @ 9:26pm CST
Towards the end of this short video you can see the average working conditions in a Chinese toy factory:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DX1iplQQJTo

I seriously doubt Hasbro's factory is any different...
Re: Hasbro addresses allegations of poor working conditions (1328129)
Posted by Envisaged0ne on December 28th, 2011 @ 9:29pm CST
The only time I've heard any real quality control problems was with the animated line. Haven't heard anything towards the generations, reveal the shield or movie lines. Yes, every once in a while someone will get one that has loose joints or paint smudges. But that's true with anything you buy and you can't hold Hasbro to a higher standard than everyone else. Again, the animated line had some legitimate issues to complain about, but I see all to often people taking it out on the "bayformers". And people say that Michael Bay ruined the Transformers franchise. But, facts show that the movies made billions of dollars. Paramount made more money with the TF3 than any other movie ever released. If Bay was the aweful director people make him out to be, and the toys were so aweful, then he never would have been allowed to continue making the movies. And again, everyone wouldn't be begging him to do the 4th one. I just get irritated when people bash Michael Bay and act like it's his fault when there's something about Transformers they don't like. If it weren't for him and the movies, Transformers wouldn't be where it is today.
Re: Hasbro addresses allegations of poor working conditions (1328131)
Posted by Burn on December 28th, 2011 @ 9:41pm CST
Michael Bay and the movies have nothing to do with this thread. Drop it.

Any further mention of Michael Bay, or the movies will result in warnings.

This thread is about alleged poor working conditions in Chinese factories that happen to produce Transformer toys.
Re: Hasbro addresses allegations of poor working conditions (1328132)
Posted by Powermaster Jazz on December 28th, 2011 @ 9:46pm CST
Rated X wrote:Towards the end of this short video you can see the average working conditions in a Chinese toy factory:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DX1iplQQJTo

I seriously doubt Hasbro's factory is any different...


Gad dammit! I thought it was a real video of a Chinese factory. Stupid Simpsons lol
Re: Hasbro addresses allegations of poor working conditions (1328136)
Posted by amtm on December 28th, 2011 @ 10:09pm CST
I'm going out on a limb here, but I'm going to guess having the International Council of Toy Industries assess whether a toy company's factory is ethical is kind of like grading your own test. Organizations like this are generally created and funded by the companies in the industry, so expecting them to have an unbiased opinion is silly. Perhaps the accuser is exaggerating things a bit, but if Hasbro were really serious about investigating, they'd let a third party with no vested interest do it, not a toy company association.
Re: Hasbro addresses allegations of poor working conditions (1328137)
Posted by Envisaged0ne on December 28th, 2011 @ 10:14pm CST
*Sorry bout the bayformers rant.
On topic: I found this from Wikipedia's website about Hasbro. Looks like this isn't the 1st time Hasbro has been looked at for bad employee practices in China...

"Manufacture

Over the years Hasbro has outsourced the manufacture of its products to third-party companies, mostly in China. At the Chinese factories, which Hasbro does not directly own or operate, migrant workers are compensated with meager salaries for their labor. At one such factory, in Dongguan, China, basic assembly line jobs pay a little over one hundred US dollars per month,[13] China's minimum wage.

In 2007, a workers' rights group investigated several of Hasbro's Chinese suppliers and found that, in one instance, a toy factory in China's Guangxi Province had hired 1000 junior high school students. The same group discovered other widespread labor violations, including unsafe working conditions, mandatory overtime, verbal abuse and sexual harassment of employees. Hasbro issued a statement, saying that it would "act swiftly and decisively in making any necessary changes" and had "increased the intensity of [its] ongoing safety review efforts." Critics counter that, as Hasbro has no official regulatory control of these factories, it responds to such investigations by acquiring independent auditors, who make unannounced visits to the East Asian subcontractors. Factory managers are then "coached" in how to fool the auditors.[14]

Outside Asia, Hasbro owns and operates only two manufacturing facilities, one in Waterford, Ireland, the other in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, USA. In recent years, the company has cut jobs at both plants in response to increasing competition from lower cost locations in China. At the end of 2006, for example, Hasbro's Irish division laid off more than one third of its workforce"
Re: Hasbro addresses allegations of poor working conditions (1328139)
Posted by retrothomas on December 28th, 2011 @ 10:22pm CST
Regarding quality control: I was fortunate to receive Transformers: Prime figures for Christmas. I have Arcee, Starscream, Bumblebee, and the entertainment pack with Optimus/Megatron.

Bumblebee's heel was out of alignment and he couldn't stand right. I was able to disassemble the foot and fix it, but he has a loose shoulder that flops around and I can't fix that. Two issues in one figure.

One of Starscream's rubbery knee spikes was folded over when packaged and is pointing to the side at 45 degrees. Doesn't hinder transformation or posing but it looks pretty obviously wrong when you see him, and it's not something I think I can fix since I can't bend it back into place without it just snapping right back.

I started collecting with Generations and had a few quality issues before, but it stinks that I can't easily return any of the new figures to get a fixed replacement because of their rarity right now. I've seen others complain about Hasbro QC before but this was the first time it hit me, and gave me a wow factor after having obvious issues with two figures in a row. I wondered if things had gone downhill somehow.
Re: Hasbro addresses allegations of poor working conditions (1328143)
Posted by Autobot032 on December 28th, 2011 @ 10:41pm CST
retrothomas wrote:Regarding quality control: I was fortunate to receive Transformers: Prime figures for Christmas. I have Arcee, Starscream, Bumblebee, and the entertainment pack with Optimus/Megatron.

Bumblebee's heel was out of alignment and he couldn't stand right. I was able to disassemble the foot and fix it, but he has a loose shoulder that flops around and I can't fix that. Two issues in one figure.


My Bumblebee has a loose and floppy shoulder. The right one, actually. The metal stud or rivet or whatever they call those flatheaded pins is loose and makes the arm flop. Can't get it to move without damaging the figure. If I had a soldering iron, I could warm it up enough to push it in without damage, but I currently have no access to one, at the moment.

retrothomas wrote:One of Starscream's rubbery knee spikes was folded over when packaged and is pointing to the side at 45 degrees. Doesn't hinder transformation or posing but it looks pretty obviously wrong when you see him, and it's not something I think I can fix since I can't bend it back into place without it just snapping right back.


Put the rubbery piece, or the entire leg, in just barely boiling water. Not enough to warp the plastic, but make it pliable. Give it a good 30 seconds. Scoop it out, straighten it immediately and then shove it in the freezer for about 5 minutes. It'll come out rock solid and straight. If it ever gets floppy again, just repeat the process.

retrothomas wrote:I started collecting with Generations and had a few quality issues before, but it stinks that I can't easily return any of the new figures to get a fixed replacement because of their rarity right now. I've seen others complain about Hasbro QC before but this was the first time it hit me, and gave me a wow factor after having obvious issues with two figures in a row. I wondered if things had gone downhill somehow.


That's why it bothers me to be an early adopter. I still went ahead and bought the figures, but yeah, it worries and bothers me that if I get a piece of junk, I'm stuck with it. Can't depend on Hasbro to replace it, they'll send you something comparable. (Yay?)

I did notice a trend in QC this year. First in DOTM, now in F.E.P...

Horrible paint quality. The apps are handled well, as in they don't bleed and they're not crooked, but the paint is thin and chips easily. My DOTM Sentinel Prime's legs are awful. The paint looks so horrible. I will give it a touch up here when I get the chance, but it's pretty awful after spending that kinda dough.

Voyager Prime Optimus Prime is one of the worst offenders. Mine has paint chips on the smokestack panels, the waist, the feet and the roof. Problem is, instead of molding the plastic red, they molded it in blue and black and just painted it. I don't see how that saves them costs, because you can tell there's more than one coat of paint on these sections.

I'm not sure who's idea it was, but they need a refresher course in getting it right.

The plastic feels thinner, the paint's worse, the construction is shoddy. If this is an indication of what's to come, we're going to see a return to GPS. Or something else that's equally horrible. Hasbro wants $12.99 per Deluxe...well, where is that money going? Obviously not into the materials, or to the workers, so what's their excuse now?

I'm normally not a Hasbro basher, I hate that brand hate crap, but these concerns are legitimate and after spending good money, I'm a little P.O.ed.
Re: Hasbro addresses allegations of poor working conditions (1328165)
Posted by Rated X on December 28th, 2011 @ 11:40pm CST
Powermaster Jazz wrote:
Rated X wrote:Towards the end of this short video you can see the average working conditions in a Chinese toy factory:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DX1iplQQJTo

I seriously doubt Hasbro's factory is any different...


Gad dammit! I thought it was a real video of a Chinese factory. Stupid Simpsons lol



You really wanna see that ???

Here you go:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVK6qCrq ... re=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2KCYsmW ... re=related
Re: Hasbro addresses allegations of poor working conditions (1328171)
Posted by Anonymous on December 29th, 2011 @ 12:29am CST
Oh you wanna get REEEEALLLY real? Let's get nuts...



Yes, minimum wage: live like kings in Communist China.
Re: Hasbro addresses allegations of poor working conditions (1328176)
Posted by retrothomas on December 29th, 2011 @ 12:41am CST
Autobot032 wrote:
Put the rubbery piece, or the entire leg, in just barely boiling water. Not enough to warp the plastic, but make it pliable. Give it a good 30 seconds. Scoop it out, straighten it immediately and then shove it in the freezer for about 5 minutes. It'll come out rock solid and straight. If it ever gets floppy again, just repeat the process.


Thank you! I'll try that.
Re: Hasbro addresses allegations of poor working conditions (1328216)
Posted by JelZe GoldRabbit on December 29th, 2011 @ 6:10am CST
I'll be blunt as always with you guys: if any of you are thinking about giving up the hobby or boycotting it altogether, you may as well throw out every single thing that was fabricated in China. Every, single, thing. And trust me that'll be quite a lot to throw out.

In a sense it's our own damn fault for being such big consumers. Large demand will make companies look for cheaper places to produce, and those places will cut corners wherever possible, no matter the consequence. And it will always be this way no matter where the companies will settle next.

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