DNC: Ivanka should cut ties with China company

Ivan Schwartz
June 1, 2017

Li said that the investigators had discovered evidence that workers' rights had been violated. The trials of three Guangdong labor activists a year ago, which resulted in suspended prison sentences, were marked by commentators as the "end of an era" of Chinese labor activism. They all disappeared on Saturday, according to their employer, China Labor Watch.

Li Qiang, the executive director of China Labor Watch, stated that this is a first. While he has no hard proof of this, he says that he has investigated hundreds of factories in China and that while his staff have often been caught and kicked out, they have never been arrested until now.

A Chinese company that makes shoes for Ivanka Trump has denied allegations of labor violations, including excessive overtime and low wages.

According to commentators, the case highlighted the political sensitivity of a brand associated with the family of Donald Trump. "We constantly find flagrant labor rights violations, and workers working hard to change their conditions, and it's all the more disheartening to see global brands staying quiet when the police step in".

Two labor activists in China are still missing.

Activist Su Heng wanted to create a report about the conditions in Ivanka Trump's factory to get a clearer picture of the human rights abuse taking place in the Far East.

AP was unable to reach the other investigators' families.

The men were investigating Huajian Group factories in the southern Chinese cities of Ganzhou and Dongguan. The parent company is known as Huajian Group.

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The Huajian Group produces footwear sold by Ivanka Trump's brand, as well as Coach, Karl Lagerfeld, and Kendall + Kylie.

Responding to a question about the trio, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said: "We have no information about this".

"I was shocked and freaked out", Deng Guilian said. "If your official letter contains a stamp and signature, we can confirm whether the media is real or not".

The human rights group Amnesty International´s China researcher William Nee, has joined in calls to free the activists, "Hua Haifeng, Li Zhao and Su Heng must be released if they are being held exclusively for investigating possible labor abuses at factories making shoes for Ivanka Trump's label".

The activists were investigating a Jiangxi province-based factory owned by Ganzhou Huajian International Shoe City, a subsidiary of the Huajian Group and one of the suppliers for Ivanka Trump's fashion brand.

So how exactly does this connect to the First Daughter, and White House advisor, Ivanka Trump? I am now feeling helpless and in pain. Rights groups and journalists have documented widespread abuse of the system over the years.

"This is nothing new", Keegan Elmer, a researcher for Hong Kong-based China Labour Bulletin, an independent NGO doing work similar to CLW, says of the latest detentions.

Hua's wife, Deng, meanwhile, has yet to tell the couple's children, ages 3 and 7, about their father's plight. She wants to keep from upsetting them.

Other reports by GizPress

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