Understanding the
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To: Mr. Alfred Verrecchia
Chief Executive Officer Hasbro, Inc.
1027 Newport Avenue, Pawtucket, RI 02862

Dear Mr. Verrecchia:

Hello, my name is Savannah Cooley; I am nine years old. My sister Claire, who is seven, owns six of the Hasbro My Little Ponies and has much fun playing with them. She wants five more of the ponies for her friends. My dad will help me now to say what I think and feel. Our family is careful about what we buy because we consider each purchase as a vote. We spend money carefully and want to vote with each purchase for a better world—not only for our kids, but also for the people who make the things we buy. We are writing to request information about the working conditions of the people in China who make the My Little Ponies toys. We would like Hasbro Inc. to assure us that the workers who make the ponies are:

  • paid a living wage
  • working adults age eighteen or older
  • have break times
  • have comfortable work environments.
  • Please let us know the facts about these matters so that we may make our choice accordingly.

    Our family feels inspired by the work of the youth in the group Kids Can Free the Children; we feel called to help their cause. In addition, four of our friends signed this letter because they, as well, need to know your response, or lack of it, to this inquiry. Please work in partnership with us for a better world.


    Sincerely,

    The Cooley family with Sanderson Beck, Jeannie Clark, Charlotte Warren and David Faubion

    Cc: Craig Kielburger/ founder: Kids Can Free the Children
    Cc: Marc Kielburger/ cofounder of Leaders today

    Hasbro's Reply to the Letter of Care

    Hasbro Logo

    March 22, 2004

    MISS CLAIR, SAVANNAH COOLEY
    599 VIA EL CUADRO,
    SANTA BARBARA, CA 93111


    Dear MISS COOLEY,

    Mr. Verrecchia has forwarded your letter to us. We appreciate your taking the time to share your feelings with us.As a global provider of game and toy brands for children, the conditions under which our products are manufactured are matters of serious and long-term concern to Hasbro. We are committed to ensuring that our products are manufactured under safe, humane and non-exploitative conditions.In fact, as early as 1993, Hasbro established its Global Business Ethics Principles as the Code of Conduct. Participation in the Hasbro program is mandatory for all of our suppliers and vendors. Among many important areas, the Code of Conduct governs the following categories of standards:

    • child labor
    • work hours and pay
    • forced, prison or indentured labor
    • health and safety
    • abuse and discrimination
    • freedom of association and
    • monitoring

    As indicated above, Hasbro's Code of Conduct clearly sets forth the standards under which vendors may manufacture Hasbro products, with auditing and monitoring rights for Hasbro. All factories located in the Far East manufacturing Hasbro products are audited by Hasbro and by independent firms hired by Hasbro.

    Hasbro works with the worldwide toy industry as a member of the Toy Industry Association, Inc. (TIA) and sits on committees and forums to strengthen workplace standards and compliance. For example, Hasbro was at the forefront of developing industry-wide standards for fire prevention and emergency preparedness through the International Council of Toy Industries (ICTI). In addition, Hasbro was a principal drafter of the factory audit checklists for the ICTI Code of Business Practices.

    Hasbro is a leader in the area of global working conditions and is proud of its efforts, on behalf of both the company and the toy industry in general. Given Hasbro's strong commitment to the Global Business Ethics Principles, its extensive independent monitoring program and its industry activism, I hope you will agree that we, like you, do indeed care about how our products are manufactured.

    Sincerely,

    CONSUMER AFFAIRS DEPT.

    Ann Marie Ferrini
    Consumer Affairs Support Representative 03/17/04 732/1 B 3578 AMF/amfMA040319

    Description: This page shows a simple example of the solidarity between a consumer and a factory of workers. It clarifies the fact that producers do hear the voice of those who call then to their accountability and ethical conduct. Producers may respond with appropriate reform if held to the values of consumers and the will of workers.

    Keywords: child labor laws, corporate accountability, corporate policy disclosure, forced labor, freedom of association, Global Business Ethics Principles, global producer, ICTI Code of Business Practices, indentured labor, independent monitoring program, labor force, living wage, prison labor, solidarity, work environments, workplace health and safety

    * This hybrid notion of the performative as conjoined with care here is used in respect for the work of J. K. Gibson-Graham in her book The End of Capitalism (as we knew it): a Feminist Critique of Political Economy. She conceived of and uses the concept of performative force in her prescriptive analysis of the relationship of people and economic structure. See Part VII, herein.


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