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Shanghai factory denies slavery accusation

A SHANGHAI plastics factory has denied British reports that it uses slave labor and is seeking an apology and compensation from two foreign newspapers.

Shanghai Fashion Plastic Products Co Ltd has sent a lawyer's letter to UK-based News of the World and the Sunday Times in South Africa, a factory official told today's Shanghai Morning Post.

The report, alleging that workers earned just 21 yuan (US$3) a day making the official mascots for South Africa's FIFA World Cup, has now been removed from the News of the World Website.

An investigation by the All-China Federation of Labor also cleared the factory of any wrongdoing, Shanghai Morning Post reported.

A company official at the factory in Jiading District's Nanxiang Town said workers could earn double the income for an office worker during busy periods. The company strictly obeyed China's labor laws, he said.

FIFA's product licensing partner Global Brands Group has now suspended the order for Zakumi mascots.

GBG has assigned independent investigator Intertek Group to probe the allegations, with results expected in April, factory officials said.

The factory also made Haibao mascots for Shanghai's World Expo and the five mascots for the Beijing Olympics.


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