Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

November 27, 2007 08:00 ET

Attention Shoppers: Do You Know Where That Toy Comes From or How it Was Made?

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 27, 2007) - The Canadian Labour Congress has a new flyer to help people shop for the perfect toy for that special little someone this holiday season while making sure the toy itself is not harmful. Supplies of the flyer are limited, but can be downloaded from the CLC web site (

"After a number of high-profile recalls of toys this year because they posed serious risks to the health and safety of children, consumers are asking other questions too," says Marie Clarke Walker, Executive Vice-President of the Canadian Labour Congress.

"Where was that toy made? If the toys being manufactured are hazardous to the children who will play with them, what about the workers who are making them? Are the factories they work in "safe"?

Clarke Walker says the new flyer is intended to remind consumers that their choices can make a real difference, especially when it comes to the health and safety of our children as well as to the workers making them.

Toy companies are notoriously greedy. They want faster and fatter profits, so they constantly demand lower production costs and shorter delivery times regardless of the human consequences. Some companies are willing to ignore ethical practices, even their own codes of conduct.

In many countries, labour laws are not enforced and workers are left without any protection from being exploited. When it comes to toys, China has the highest profile because 75% of world toy production happens there. It is not uncommon for workers to be jailed for trying to form independent unions in their workplaces where exploitation, injuries and death are a daily matter.

"Asking the right questions is part of being a smart shopper. Refusing to buy a product because you don't trust the way it is made is just plain common sense. Sadly, Canada's weak labelling laws make it hard for shoppers to do the right thing at the point of purchase," says Clarke Walker.

One of the best ways to guarantee that any product, is made in a safe workplace where workers are treated fairly is to look for a union label. Unions work every day to improve working conditions, ensure workers are paid a fair wage, defend their rights and demand respect from both employers and governments.

"Our flyer has information about how to find games and toys made by unionized workers in Canada as well as links to useful resources about sweatshops and how to stop them. It's something every shopper should read before giving their money to any company, whether they sell toys, clothing, or even chocolate," says Clarke Walker.

The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.2 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada's national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 136 district labour councils.

Contact Information

  • Canadian Labour Congress
    Jean Wolff
    613-526-7431 and 613-878-6040
    Canadian Labour Congress
    Jeff Atkinson
    613-526-7425 and 613-863-1413