Three men were investigating the working conditions at a Chinese company that produces shoes for Ivanka Trump’s brand. The Chinese government has arrested one man, and the other two are missing, The Associated Press reported on Tuesday.
The three men were working with China Labor Watch, a New York based nonprofit, which was planning to release a report next month alleging low pay and excessive overtime use by the Chinese company. According to the Associated Press, Hua Haifeng was arrested and accused of illegal surveillance. China Labor Watch has reported that it has lost contact with Li Zhao and Su Heng, the other two men. Communication with them ended over the weekend.
The trio of men was investigating the Ganzhou Huajian International Shoe City Company’s factory in Jiangxi province in southeast China. One of the men, Heng, was working undercover at the factory since April, Director Li Qiang for China Labor Watch said.
The parent company for the facility is known as Huajian Group. They told the Associated Press that the factory makes 10,000 to 20,000 pairs of shoes for Ivanka Trump’s brand each year. That brand reportedly produces 20 million pairs of shoes annually. According to a previously gathered report, the three men had already documented excessive overtime and below minimum wages at the Chinese company.
The Democratic National Committee has called for Trump and his administration to “confront China on its human rights abuses” in response to the released report. “We deeply hope that these detained or missing human rights workers are safe and can be reunited with their families as soon as possible,” DNC deputy communications director Adrienne Watson said in a statement. “For years, Ivanka Trump has ignored public reports of awful labor conditions at a factory that makes her shoes. Now, she must decide whether she can ignore the Chinese government’s apparent attempt to silence an investigation into those worker abuses.”
What are your thoughts about this story? The DNC has called for Ivanka Trump to cut all ties with this supplier. Do you think they are right? We look forward to seeing your comments.
Credit: The Hill