A girl, a stranger, and a quest for justice in China
The young woman, a new member of factory life in China, only met a man who claimed to be Kalen through photos on the chat file.
Late at night, he held a paper cup in a luxurious skyscraper with a nervous smile on his face.
Neither Yu Chunyan nor her friends knew what to think of him.
Some people think there is some change in his eyes.
Others say he looks handsome in a heroic way.
Yu Minhong is one of those skeptical.
As the daughter of the factory worker, Yu Minhong completed his university studies by working in the factory.
In the summer of 2016, she and thousands of other students assembled the iphone at Apple\'s supplier.
But they were not paid in full.
Kalen offered to help.
No return was requested.
Yu Minhong expressed doubts about this.
If she learned one thing in 23 years, it was: \"There is no free lunch.
\"In China, disputes like this tend to be bad for workers.
But over the years, suicide and sweatshop scandals have forced companies such as Apple to reconsider their attitude towards workplace fairness.
Today, more and more brands including Apple and Nike, Gap Inc.
Levi Strauss company
H & M group puts transparency first and takes public responsibility for the conditions in its global supply chain.
Labor rights groups such as Kalen\'s working China Labor Watch can play a useful supervisory role for these companies by helping them understand the real situation of suppliers.
But this new approach is not accepted by all.
When China Labor Watch faced allegations of abuse of Labor by Chinese suppliers of the Ivanka Trump brand, her company refused to step in.
It did not publicly investigate the allegations: forced overtime, low hourly pay to $1, and gross verbal and physical abuse --
Including one incident, a man was hit in the head by a sharp head at the high endheeled shoe.
Ivanka Trump, who still owns but no longer manages the brand of the same name closely, remains silent.
Neither she nor her brand will comment on the story.
Unlike Apple, her brand has not published the identity of the manufacturer.
In fact, its supply chain has only become more opaque since her first daughter took office in the White House.
However, with the end of the summer of 2016, Yu Chunyan did not know that he was about to receive education in geopolitics and corporate social responsibility.
She only wants one thing: her salary.
She saw a way to get them: the strange stranger with the English name.
Kalen and China Labor Watch not only linked Yu to Apple, but also eventually linked Yu to the daughter of the US president.
Their cross-story highlights the contrasting approach taken by the Apple and Ivanka Trump brands in terms of workplace equity --
The actual impact of these decisions on China.
It will take you more than a year to find out who Kalen really is.
When Yu was a baby, her parents went to work in a factory in an emerging town in southern Guangdong province without any help.
When she was a child, neither the mother nor the father came to see her.
This is a common fate in China, where Yu Minhong grew up at his grandparents in Central China\'s Henan province.
The first unusual thing that happened to Yu Minhong was her high school entrance exam.
Despite the medium grades, she achieved good results, and scored even higher than the outstanding grades known in the class.
Her achievements have given Yu Minhong great potential.
She ran to tell her mother.
\"Oh,\" This is a relentless response from her mother.
Yu Minhong\'s exam results upset her parents that she would not marry young, have children and start making money for her family.
Her parents are wary that excellence will only lead to high expectations.
Her parents are worried that such a thing could crush a person.
It\'s best to keep your position and be bound by a certain, risk-free horizon.
Yu did not agree.
\"I will get it as long as I want something,\" she decided . \".
Her parents let her stay at school, but if Yu wants to go to college, she has to pay in her own way. And so she did.
She attended a university in Henan province.
In the end, she wants to do something creative, such as design.
At the same time, factory work is not a bad way to make money.
In July 2016, Ms. Yu served on the assembly line of Jabil Inc.
The green dot factory in Wuxi, a city near Shanghai.
She spent 12-
The hour shift breaks the back cover of the iPhone 7 into a mold and passes it down.
Yu said: \"It looks very simple . \"
\"But if you\'re working all day, then your hands are really tired.
It\'s usually a man\'s job.
Yu Minhong said: \"The production quota of her group has been rising, from 2 000 units per day to 50 000 units. She got dizzy. Her hands hurt.
She thought, \"when is it over?
\"On August 2016, she resigned. she ignored the warning that her salary would be deducted by 500 yuan (
R937, at today\'s price)
Because leave earlyYu made the 12-
On September 10, her last salary check was sent to her bank account.
This is an ugly surprise.
She is better than she expected R9239 R2061.
Her salary should be used to pay the tuition. Now it didn\'t.
\"I\'m very angry,\" she said . \"
\"I think I will get my money back anyway.
\"She called the factory and the labor broker who had her get the job, but was told a series of surprising expenses, some legal and some not.
Yu Minhong called the Union at Green Point for help.
\"It\'s no use,\" she said . \"
She called the local labor bureau but no one answered.
On social media in China, Yu Minhong, like other students, found the chorus of despair --
Children of farmers, factories and construction workers
Fines were imposed on WeChat, QQ and Weibo.
\"Everyone has an attitude, \'well, it has nothing to do with me,\'\" said Zhuang huaqian, a major in electrical engineering at Hunan University of Technology, he spent the summer assembling his iphone with a set of dust on the moon. free clothing.
Ding Yan, a labor broker in the dispute, said his company did nothing wrong.
\"Wages are our bottom line.
\"We will never pay them less,\" he said . \"
\"I will not risk this brand.
The students reported their case to the media in frustration.
Several articles detailed their complaints, but Yu and another student said the post began to disappear.
They want to know, have they been reviewed?
The local government published an article on its official microblog saying the authorities acted quickly and had repaid more than 100 students.
This position includes a complaint hotline that employees can call.
Chen Jianbin, head of Wuxi\'s labor and social security supervision department, said his team must classify verbal contracts, informal intermediaries and false complaints, which are clearly paid to slander the competitive labor agency.
\"We try our best to help,\" Chen said . \"
\"Life is not easy for those students.
\"But many students did not get their money back.
Under their anger, despair grew.
Every remedy they tried failed.
They turned to the power they thought they could believe.
But no one helped.
However, there are good people everywhere in the world, and one person does offer help.
He calls himself Kalen.
13 years ago, Kalen himself worked in a telephone factory and polished cheap landlines for a Chinese brand at a factory in Shenzhen.
At that time, it was not until one day he walked into the office of the local labor rights organization and learned that he did not receive the statutory minimum wage that he realized that his salary was too low.
The knowledge excited him.
As he prepared the case, he gobbled through the books on labor rights in the group\'s reading room.
Two months later, he received a return on R5620 through the local arbitration panel.
Kalen wants to know how many workers are outside like him and know nothing about their rights.
He quit his job at the factory, working to teach workers how to use Chinese laws to protect themselves.
Kalen brought his evidence.
Many students have never heard of the basic methods of Chinese labor observation before.
He told them about the group\'s past cooperation with Apple suppliers and taught them how to calculate the arrears.
When he collected details about working hours and wages from more than 200 workers, he warned them to be honest.
He wrote on QQ: \"seek truth from facts . \".
In September, China Labor Watch asked Apple to step in.
The company sent a local team to investigate, reporting that 501 students received unpaid wages.
But many say their wages have not been paid in full.
When Kalen asked a volunteer to write to Apple, Yu was torn: would she be expelled from school for speaking loudly?
\"It\'s hard for me to make this money,\" she said . \".
\"I want to try as long as I have a little hope.
\"She stayed up late after midnight to write down what happened.
On September 28, Li Yuchun sent an email to Apple.
Five days later, Apple wrote back that it had done further investigation and would ensure that workers were paid for training and additional work during their lunch break.
Eric Ostermann, vice president of Jabil, said: \"Jabil has invested hundreds of hours of staff time to reach about 17 000 employees
The president of social and environmental responsibility wrote in an email to The Associated Press.
\"While Jabil often lacks email addresses, phone numbers, or other standard contact information, Jabil has only found about 5% of these employees who have all paid their wages in full.
\"The workers received more than 2. 7 million yuan (
$426,000 at today\'s price)
According to Jabil Green Point and an email from Apple to China Labor Watch on October 2017.
Apple declined to comment on the case.
Students pay hundreds or thousands of dollars at a time.
It\'s money for school, for dinner, and a way to get out of debt.
By the end of October, Ms. Yu had already brought back everything she owed her.
She was impressed.
She revised her letter for Kalen and turned it into a statement of proof and personal intent.
China Labor Watch posted the news on its website.
\"Due to this experience, I believe there are good people and selfless people everywhere in the world,\" Yu wrote . \".
\"I hope to join a public welfare organization.
I hope to help others.
But China is changing.
Hundreds of human rights lawyers and activists have been swept away in a crackdown on threats to the ruling Communist Party.
People with diplomatic relations, such as the China Labor Watch, are particularly skeptical.
Yu is not aware of the dangers of her growing idealism.
After the Spring Festival, Yu Minhong moved to Shanghai, which she only saw in the photos, to work for an interior design company.
On March 2017, five months after she received the payment from the factory, she re-contacted Kalen on WeChat.
Kalen told her that the Chinese Labor watch may need someone to do undercover work.
China Labor Watch is closing factories that produce Ivanka Trump\'s goods, including Ganzhou Huajian International Shoe City Co. , Ltd.
However, the idea of going back to the mill life is beyond her tolerance.
\"I need to push myself forward,\" she said . \".
She wants to learn English, wear better and lose weight.
China Labor Watch eventually sent two men undercover.
The organization obtained a video in which a manager accused a worker of apparently arranging shoes in the wrong order.
\"If I see them screw up again,\" cried the manager, \"I\'ll beat you here.
\"According to three witnesses to the Associated Press, another worker had a blood drop on his head and a manager hit him with a pointed head in high heels.
The Huajian Group, which runs a factory in Ganzhou, denied all the allegations, believing that \"it is completely untrue, detached from the background and exaggerated the facts.
\"On April, China Labor Watch released preliminary findings in a White House letter to Ivanka Trump.
She did not respond.
Samsung Electronics for many yearsLtd. , Gap Inc. , Target Corp. , Wal-Wal-Mart Stores Ltd.
According to the email and minutes reviewed by The Associated Press, other companies are paying enough attention to China Labor Watch to respond to criticism or meet Li in person. Walt Disney Co.
After China\'s labor watch exposed bad working conditions, it broke ties with at least one supplier.
\"We investigated Apple because it\'s a big American company,\" Li said . \"
\"If Apple makes a change, other companies will follow suit.
Now Ivanka is the most famous person in all these companies.
If she can change, so will other companies.
But the plan backfired.
At the end of 5, three Chinese labor watch investigators were arrested on charges of illegal use of secret cameras and surveillance equipment.
One of them was an investigator at huahaifeng.
Li said that the police had warned Huajian to give up the investigation into Huajian, but he continued to push forward.
As a thin man who is not easy to panic, Hua seems to accept fear as the price for his decision to live in order to express his values.
In more than a decade of labor rights work in China, Huachun has helped thousands of workers recover the money they owe, and half of it has been
Wondering when he will be forced to stop.
Now, Hua, 36, has broken ties with his wife and two young children.
In the Ganzhou detention center, Hua shared a toothbrush with strangers.
Hua was locked in a crowded cell and did not have enough boards to sleep, and at night he stretched his body on the concrete floor next to a bucket, which provided toilets for about 20 men.
These people add water and soap in the hope that these bubbles will remove the stench from human waste. It didn\'t work.
This is the first time in 17 years that China Labor Watch
History of the arrest of investigators.
Police searched the organization\'s office in Shenzhen and took away computers and documents.
From his office in New York, Lee worked frantically to get these people out of jail.
He is convinced that the transfer of wealth is due to the target of their investigation: the brand owned by the president\'s daughter of the United States.
But he has no evidence. Ivanka Trump —and her brand —
The arrest was not mentioned. Where is Kalen?
A few days after her arrest, Yu Chunyan found a new job at a design company in Shanghai, but from her experience at the Green Dot factory there was something lingering.
\"I prefer jobs that help more people,\" she said . \"
She received a request from Li Qiang, a Chinese labor watch company.
She messaged Kalen and asked him to check out Li.
No response from Kalen.
She wants to know what happened to him.
On June 5, the US State Department demanded the immediate release of three Chinese labor watch investigators.
China\'s foreign ministry responded that other countries \"have no right to interfere with our judicial sovereignty \". State-
The three men tried to steal trade secrets and sell them overseas, state media reported.
On June 6, Li Qiang wrote to Ivanka Trump at the White House describing what she called \"extreme working conditions\" in her supply chain \".
\"Your words and deeds can change the lives of these workers,\" he wrote . \". He did not get a reply.
Her brand calls the integrity of its supply chain a \"top priority\", but also insists that its suppliers are supervised by the licensee --
Contract with the company to produce a large number of Ivanka Trump handbags, shoes and clothing.
The brand said its shoes have not been produced at the Huajian factory since April, although the Chinese Labor Watch has received a copy of the nearly 1 000 pairs of Ivanka to be listed in May ·
On June, three Chinese labor watch investigators were released on bail after serving 30 days in prison.
When he walked out of a police station in Ganzhou, Hua held his son in his arms.
China declined to be interviewed about the story.
His lawyer said the police ordered him not to talk to the media.
His bail conditions require him to report to the police every week and not be able to travel without permission.
In addition to his criminal suspicion in his hometown, it is difficult for him to find a job.
On July, at a 3-hour drive from Wudang Mountain, Huachun applied to the police for permission for a family holiday.
After foreign media quoted Hua as saying, six plainclothes policemen appeared in a restaurant. Hua Zheng ate with his family and patted him on the shoulder.
The next morning they escorted him home, leaving his wife, Deng Guilian, and the children walking alone in the Taoist temple.
After her husband got off work, Deng found a job selling drinks and snacks in a local karaoke hall from 18: 00 to 0:00.
After work, she went to a nearby dormitory where she and a female colleague
The worker shared a bed with Snoopy\'s headboard.
She has three days off to see her a month. year-
Old son, Bo, seven-year-
Chen, old daughter.
\"They seem to be used to having no mother,\" Deng said . \" He smiled uncomfortably.
Every Monday morning, after Hua sent his children to school, he drove through the weeds. a factory sprayed thick white smoke and registered with the local police in South zhang county.
At first, they gave him a lecture: turn around.
Don\'t say it.
Live a normal life.
Now, his wife says, he usually just signs his name, but it\'s clear that mistakes can quickly get angry with local authorities.
Police in Nanzhang county, Ganzhou city and Jiangxi province did not respond to requests for comment.
On October, Li Qiang wrote again to Ivanka Trump and her brand.
He said he didn\'t get any response.
In an email, Li said Ivanka Trump\'s actions indicate that \"she doesn\'t care about the workers who make her products, only about profits . \".
\"As a public figure, she has the ability and resources to work not only in terms of working conditions in the factories of her own brand, but also to help improve the labor conditions of the entire global supply chain.
However, she did not use her influence to do these things.
At 18: 00 P. M. on October, an ordinary man, Yu Chunyan, left her office and walked past the former French franchise in Shanghai, the wealthy center of China\'s most prosperous city.
She passed through a row of thick sycamore trees, and under a dark sky, she walked into a tea room with a different face.
Ms. Yu pushed open the wooden door of a private room and smiled nervously at the Associated Press reporter she agreed to meet.
Despite the cold weather, a thick, colorless sweater hangs on her body and her sock feet stretch out from white sandals.
Ms. Yu took off her shoes and sat at the sunken table, trying her best to avoid seeing all kinds of fancy tea from the scrolling iPad menu.
She began to talk about Kalen and took out her mobile phone and turned it over to their communication on WeChat.
In his picture, there is a familiar face.
\"Do you know him?
She asked in surprise.
The Associated Press has been covering him for months.
Kalen is Hua Hai Feng.
Ms. Yu did not know that her Kalen was the same person as Hua Haifeng, who was arrested while investigating Ivanka Trump\'s supplier.
She still listened silently to the news of interrogation and surveillance, and his son suddenly had nightmares, prisons and urinating barrels. Her eyes poured out.
The elegant cake did not move in front of her.
An hour later, she sent a WeChat message to Kalen.
\"Do you have to take risks to work in your industry? \" she asked.
Risk depends on politics, he writes, and on the conditions of your country.
\"From the beginning, I expected something like this to happen,\" he told her . \".
\"So it\'s not bad luck.
This will happen sooner or later.
\"Would you do the same if you had a chance ? \"\" she asked.
\"Yes,\" he replied.
He told Yu Minhong that he must live a life that embodies his values.
He tried to encourage others.
\"I\'m not saying everyone has to pay that high price.
\"But Yu Minhong has a feeling that the Chinese army and neither of them have fully mastered the power to fight, let alone fail.
In her view, she is re-adjusting the risk of idealism.
\"I can\'t do it,\" Yu said . \"
She left Shanghai in November and went back to live with her parents.
\"I want to be an ordinary person,\" she said . \"
\"I don\'t want to get involved in controversial matters.