Unhappy Meals

Submitted by Anon on 27 April, 2006 - 12:20

>“McDonald’s is in some ways a toy company, not a food company,” says one retired fast food executive. In fact, in its desperation to sell its unhealthy products to small children, McDonald’s sells (or “gives away” with food) more than 1,500 million toys a year, worldwide.

McDonald’s “Happy Meal” toys are manufactured in sweatshops in China and other developing countries. Here, the children don’t eat “Happy Meals”, they work long hours for less than the price of a “Happy Meal” per day. In 2000, a reporter for the South China Morning Post visited a factory near Hong Kong which made Snoopy, Winnie the Pooh and Hello Kitty toys for McDonald's. Some of the workers at the factory said they were 14 years old and often worked 16 hours a day. Their wages were less than 11p an hour. They slept in barracks, with each small room crammed with eight bunk beds without mattresses. Another factory forced workers to work 17 hours a day for less than 6p an hour.

McDonald’s at first denied that the sweatshops existed, then admitted that there were “some problems”. They now say they are “trying” to stop their suppliers from using child labour (!) — but they have done nothing to improve pay and conditions for the workers producing their “happy” merchandise.

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