Don't Take the Mickey!

Manchester campaigners, armed with a giant magnifying glass, attempted to uncover the real story behind Disney's fairy tale on Saturday 15 January at the store in St Ann's Square. They aimed to raise awareness about the conditions of workers making toys and clothes for Disney. The event coincided with other national days of action on Disney by Labour Behind the Label (a UK network of organisations supporting garment workers' efforts to defend their rights and improve their wages and conditions) and with similar Europe wide actions.

"It's time to tell Disney to stop taking the Mickey and that's why we are asking Disney's Chief Executive to listen to the workers' demands for better wages and conditions. I hope that Disney take action to restore workers rights", said Jess Mock, of the local Labour Behind the Label group.

In Haiti, Disney workers are still earning 36 gourdes (about £1.50) for an 8 hour day. Workers spend most of their meagre wages on food and transport, with little left over for rent, clothes or kid's school and health expenses. An unclean and unsafe working environment still prevails and any effort by the workers to form a union has been crushed.

The Manchester action went well apart from a nervous store manager calling the police twice, who realised when they turned up that there was not really much they could do about people stealing Mickey's limelight.

Jessica Mock, Labour Behind the Labour (0161 247 1760)

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(c) Networking Newsletter (February 2000)