Ivanka Trump has been in the spotlight ever since her father announced that he was running for president. While the president’s daughter claims to strive for greater opportunities for women, the women in her own factories are being overworked and underpaid. Read on to find out what Trump’s factory conditions are really like, plus one man who made a huge sacrifice to expose Trump — and how his wife is paying the price.
One man wanted to expose what the factory conditions were like
Hua Haifeng, a Chinese labor activist, wanted to expose the conditions that Chinese workers were forced to work in. He and a few colleagues decided to record the abuse that occurred in the factory to expose the working conditions. Believe it or not, he didn’t know it was a factory for Trump’s shoes. Since he is a labor activist, Hua tries to expose factories that he hears are not treating people well. Hua got arrested for investigating Trump’s factory and spent 30 days in jail. It wasn’t until he was released that he realized whose factory it was.
Next: Here’s what led him to investigate in the first place.
A New York company sent them to investigate
A New York non-profit called China Labor Watch is the company that found the evidence of abuse in the factory. Workers are reportedly paid as low as one dollar per hour, which equates to a yearly salary that’s less than half of what the average Chinese worker in the private sector makes. Plus, workers are hardly compensated for overtime, which means they’re actually making even less than one dollar per hour.
Next: Low pay isn’t the only problem.
Managers threaten to beat their workers
Aside from offering such low pay, managers are extremely unfriendly. They reportedly give harsh threats to their workers to keep them focused while at work. According to the Chicago Tribune, a video surfaced of a manager in Trump’s factory threatening to beat his workers if they messed up the order of the shoes. “If I see them f–ing messed up again, I’ll beat you right here,” the manager said. The video was also another reason for the China Labor Watch to investigate.
Next: Abuse is rampant in the factories.
… And those threats are not empty
The managers don’t just threaten, they act. If someone messes something up, or slows down the pace, or throws off the progress in any way, the managers will abuse them. Three separate eyewitnesses recalled such behavior. According to the Chicago Tribune, a manager hit a man with the sharp end of a high-heeled shoe. He was left with blood dripping from his head. The Huajian Group, who runs the factory, has since claimed the accounts of what happened are not true.
Next: Families are paying the price for the undercover investigations, too.
Now, Hua’s wife is paying for her husband’s brave actions
Hua investigates labor conditions for a living. However, his last stint left more of a mark on his wife than anyone else. The Chicago Tribune profiled a day in the life of Deng Guilian, Hua’s wife, and how she has been forced to work long hours at a karaoke bar in order to make up for her husband being gone. Although Hua is out of jail, his bail conditions have made it hard for him to find another job. Deng works the overnight shift and spends her days in a dorm. She only gets three days off per month to see her children.
Next: Trump’s words seem contradictory to her actions.
Trump’s life is far different from Deng’s
In Trump’s book, she spoke about her commitment to improving the lives of young girls all over the world. She also praised her children and said they are the best thing in her life. “I am the first person they see in the morning, and the last to give kisses at night,” Trump wrote. However, in Trump’s factories, women work endlessly. They are forced to meet extremely high production expectations. Deng does not even get to see her children once per week, even though she never actually worked in one of Trump’s factories.
Next: She refuses to bring light to the subject.
… Yet Trump has stayed silent about her brand’s labor issues
Trump does not speak about labor issues within her own factories. Although she does not closely monitor her brand anymore, she is still the owner. She has not commented on labor issues in China, which is where the majority of her items are made. “As a public figure, [Trump] has the ability to… Improve labor conditions of the global supply chain as a whole,” Li Qiang, the founder of China labor Watch, told the Chicago Tribune. However, Trump has not done that at all.
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