The factory in China that has produced shoes for the Ivanka Trump brand and other US companies is the worst violator of labor rules among many similar manufacturing facilities based on an undercover investigation according to a report published Wednesday by an advocacy group in China.
In its report, China Labor Watch, details the labor conditions at the Huajian factory, saying they are severe with workers under constant verbal abuse and being forced to work more than 15 hours a day with no overtime pay. They also reportedly receive about $352 per month for 350 working hours a month (below the wage required by China’s labor law).
“This is the worst one among the dozens of factories in the past year’s investigation,” said China Labor Watch in its June 21 report.
Three investigators from China Labor Watch disappeared in May while they were conducting an undercover investigation into the plant in March or April. It is believed they have been arrested by Chinese authorities.
“Our aim in sending investigators to Huajian was to collect evidence of abuses and thereby improve the factory,” said Li Qiang, the executive director of China Labor Watch in the report. “China Labor Watch believes that it is important that independent investigators are able to assess the conditions of multinational brand’s suppliers in China and work to eliminate labor rights infringements.”
China Labor Watch said that since April, they have written two letters to Ivanka Trump informing the company of the labor conditions and seeking assistance in the release of the investigators. They have, thus far, gotten no response. It’s said that Ivanka Trump herself is not involved in the day-to-day operations of the business and remains only a stakeholder in the company.
In May, after the three investigators were arrested, the brand came out in denial of any connection to the factory. Abigail Klem, the president of the brand, said the company’s shoes had not been produced at the factory since March. China Labor Watch, however, has said they have evidence showing the company still placed orders to the manufacturer in May and June.
We reached out to personnel at Ivanka Trump, but they declined to comment at this time.
Ivanka Trump and her husband were reportedly invited to Beijing by the Chinese government. The details of the possible trip are still under discussion.