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Fairly Treated Workers Make Natural Home Kitchen Products

2/3/2011 5:20:53 PM

Tags: Natural Home, Natural Home kitchen tools, bamboo kitchenware, Chinese factory conditions, Robyn Griggs Lawrence

noah and worker 

Natural Home representative Noah Welch talks with Chen Shun Qun about her working conditions.  

Two years ago, Natural Home magazine launched the Natural Home kitchenware line. As the leading authority on green living, we knew our products would have to stand head and shoulder above the rest in terms of beauty, durability and environmental impact. We also have to be certain that our products are being manufactured under safe conditions and that the workers who make them are treated fairly. So last month we sent our representatives to Zhejiangsheng, in the industrial area Wanglinvang, to see for themselves how our bamboo kitchen tools are made.

Noah Welch visited the Lianhe Factory and spoke with Chen Shun Qun, who has worked on the factory floor for six years. She told him that the factory’s living and working conditions are better than most in the area. The factory has a clean safety record and provides air-filtration masks and central air systems in areas where they’re needed.

The factory provides on-site dormitories with balconies and three meals a day. The average work week at Lianhe Factory is about 40 to 42 hours per week, and workers are paid double-time if they work more than 40 hours. Right now, most of the factory’s workers have taken a month off so they can spend the Chinese New Year with their families.  

Qun, who lives away from the factory with her husband and 12-year-old daughter, is particularly pleased with her factory’s opportunities for advancement. She hopes to move from the floor to an administrative position soon.

I, for one, feel better about a product when I know it was made by workers who are safe, fairly compensated and well-treated. We’ll continue to monitor factory and working conditions for all our products, both before we begin manufacturing and while they’re being made. 

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