Chinese Olympic mascot maker rejects ‘sweatshop’ claims

Beijing: A Chinese Olympic mascot dolls manufacturer has rejected reports about his products being made in sweatshops, and said his factory is open to inspection by both international organizations and the media.

"The Chinese workers quoted by The Sun as the factory`s employees do not even exist," The China Daily quoted Yancheng Rainbow Arts and Crafts Co Ltd chairman Gu Feng, as saying.

Feng’s statement was in response to earlier reports by The Sun that had labelled the factory a "sweatshop" and alleged that its workers worked 358 hours per month to earn roughly 930 Yuan (147 dollars).

Feng added that an ex employee Zhu Shengrong, who was interviewed by the US-based Voice of America (VOA) had fabricated the story to tarnish the factory`s reputation in revenge for his dismissal.

The VOA report quoted Shengrong, as saying that he was forced to work about 14 hours a day without overtime pay.

"Zhu was fired by our factory in the first half of 2008 due to repeated inappropriate contact with some female colleagues," Feng said.

Zhu had demanded compensation for an industrial injury, but his appeal was rejected by local courts.

Bureau Report

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