NGO: Finnish publishers use China’s sweatshop labour

The fair trade watchdog Finnwatch says Finnish publishers are selling books made on the back of sweatshop labour from China. According to a fresh report by the NGO Finnish publishers Bonnier Books Finland, Egmont Publishing, Karisto and Mäkelä Publishing all retail books made in China by workers earning very low wages.

Photo: Yle
Photo: Yle

According to the Finnwatch report, workers at the plant manufacturing books for sale in Finland earn about one euro per hour. The account published on Tuesday claimed that the plant owners squeeze as much as 80 hours overtime work out of workers each month.

“It’s not possible to maintain a family on the factory wage of about one euro an hour,” Finnwatch chief executive Sonja Vartiala said in a statement Tuesday.

Finnwatch investigated working conditions at a factory owned by the Hung Hing group in Guangdong province in China. The books are sold in Finland by companies such as Bonnier Books Finland, Egmont Publishing, Karisto and Mäkelä Publishing, and include children’s books.

The NGO said that some of the Finnish publishers have run due diligence tests on the factory but the organisation said that their systems of accountability are weak.

Read more: Yle

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