Sunday, June 22, 2008

Toyota Looking Into Allegations of Human Trafficking and Sweatshop Abuses

From Edmunds:

The Toyota Prius may be the darling of environmentalists and Hollywood celebrities, but a new report by a self-described human rights advocacy group accuses Toyota of "human trafficking and sweatshop abuses" in the building of its vehicles.

The National Labor Committee on Wednesday issued a 65-page report, "The Toyota You Don't Know," which accuses the Japanese automaker of using "low-wage temps" to build the popular Toyota Prius. The report also alleged that Toyota has "ties to Burmese dictators" through the Toyota Tsusho Corporation. "Toyota's much admired 'Just in Time' auto parts supply chain is riddled with sweatshop abuse, including the trafficking of foreign guest workers, mostly from China and Vietnam to Japan, who are stripped of their passports and often forced to work — including at subcontract plants supplying Toyota — 16 hours a day, seven days a week, while being paid less than half the legal minimum wage," the group said in a statement.

Toyota addressed the allegations late Wednesday with a brief statement. "We are reviewing the lengthy report issued today by the National Labor Committee," the automaker said. "As the well-being of our workforce and suppliers is one of our highest priorities, we are taking the allegations seriously." Toyota spokesman Curt McAllister told Inside Line on Thursday that the automaker has no further comment on the controversial report.

Read the full article

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:20 AM

    The problem with human trafficking will never be resolved until the constiuents of each state involved embrace a new international norm. NGOs can greatly help implement this norm, but only each state's constituency can legitimize it. Constructive Sovereignty addresses this problem.

    Constructive Sovereignty is an emerging international relations theory pioneered by John Maszka intended to address globalization's increasing onslaught against state sovereignty. The theory maintains that states are not the primary actors, their constituents are. Therefore, their preferences are not fixed. Since states merely represent the preferences of their constituents, they will only adhere to and ultimately embed those international norms their constituency will accept. Rather than push for larger and more powerful international organizations that will impose global norms from the outside in, the theory of Constructive Sovereignty posits that ultimately change must come from the inside out. That is to say, from each state's own constituency. As each state's constituents become more and more international, they will become more receptive to international norms. In this way, international norms are embedded and viewed with legitimacy while each state's sovereignty is maintained and respected.