Executive Summary The Aim Of Current Study Has Focused On Exploring The Online Sales Promotion That Might Influence Consumers’ Online Decision Making In China Combine With The Case Study Of Taobao. The Research Has Focused On Fulfilment Of Three Key

The following study gives an insight in to the sports industry of china and their health and safety issues. China is a booming economy where many companies are shifting their operation because of larger and cheaper workforce. However, with this increase in businesses certain associated problems related to the health and safety concerns of employees have also been observed. In this study Yue Yuen Company has been taken for analysis which is considered as one of the largest manufacturers of the sports goods in the country. However, the increasing deteriorating conditions of the work force in the factory have been observed and found no health and safety precautions according to the international labour organizations has been practiced.

Interviews are conducted amongst the workers and found that the factory workers have much miserable condition while working. Problems such as long working hours, no precautionary measures for safety while working, no overtime payments, congested and dirty workplace and no medical facilities has given to the company workers. The workforce working conditions are not compliance with the international and national laws. Our analysis revealed that the factory workers are also unaware from their due rights therefore, they has never resisted for themselves. In such instance it is necessary that all the legitimate agencies should take different measures in order to protect the workers from such unhealthy working conditions and work for their betterment. Constructive steps needs to be taken otherwise the situation will be more deteriorating.

Chapter One: Introduction

1.1.Background

China is one of the booming economies of the world; therefore the living standard has increased many folds from last 25 years. On one hand there is a tremendous increase living standard of specific society group while on the other hand health and safety concerns of the employees are considered a threat to the budding image of the country’s economy. The citizens of China are showing their great concern over one of this major issue in the country. However, the government of the country has appointed State Administration Work Safety of China to manage related concerns of health and safety of the employees. Similarly the occupational health and safety (OHS) are also operating in the country provide facilitation to occupational health issues, its effective management system is created for the provision of safe working environment to the workforce and also to ascertain that they get all their due rights and share while operating (Wei, et al., 2008). Besides these precautionary measures by the Chinese government, serious accidents are still taking place that has strenuous effect on one hand to the society and lives of its people, on the other hand it is also damages the economy and reputation of the country worldwide.

Numerous studies have been conducted to highlight the health and safety concerns of the workers such as the construction industry, oil and gas industry and catering industry (Zeng et al., 2008; Mearns & Yule, 2009; Qiang & Chow, 2007). However, limited research has been conducted on one of the major industry in Chinese economy the sports sector.  According to the Chinese sports industry statistics the country has generated total revenue of 3439 million US dollars in 2015.This high revenue generating industry faces a great challenge with respect to employee’s health and safety concerns. The unawareness of the labor force is also one of the major problems as they are completely unaware of the hazardous nature of chemicals that are used while producing sports goods. The management also does not inform them about these chemicals and what effects will they have on their health. According to the Wenting, (2011) study the tests reveal that numerous toxic chemicals usage in the manufacturing of sportswear by prominent companies of the world. Similarly, Westervelt, (2015) argues that the effect of these chemicals can increase the rate of serious health concerns such as developemnt dissabilities and cancer.

However, the major setback of this concern was highlighted in world Football tournment, where it was revealed thatt many prominent sports manufacturer around the globe including China uses toxic chemicals in their manufacturing process (Greenpace, 2014). After this revelation Government has initiated its program for the health and safety concern of the work force, whereas the government focused much on the technical aspect where it minimize the health implication rather than minimizing the usage of the toxic chemicals. However government has avoided concerns that arouse due to hazardous chemical exposures. The rules and regulations were intended at the operational measures for protection of the employees that describes that the control system would be the responsibility of the industries to follow the prescribed rules.

There is greater need of proper policies by the companies to improve their effective management system regarding health and safety issues in order to reduce associated risks of accidents of the workforce (Wei, et al., 2008). Beside this the government needs to put greater attention on this major issue for the protection of their people and also incorporating better and sustainable business image for the country’s social development. In this regard it is evident that no such studies have been conducted before that ensure health and safety measures in the sports industry of china.

Research found that the major problem with the labor occurs in the industrial places especially multinational manufacturing industries (Angelia, 2014). Due to reputation and image many workers never raise their voices to ask for their rights consequently majority of the labor suffers. In this research, Yue Yuen Company is selected as a case. Numerous international brands started on outsourcing their business in countries where they found no issues of labor shortage and also had low labor cost. The famous brands including Rebook, Adidas and Nike, whereas many others also started operations in China. Therefore the country became the central location of manufacturing unit of sports goods. As with their operations in the country they have to deal with number of related concerns such as wages, labor hours, and forced labor, racial discrimination, union’s health and safety issues at work place. The present study argues on the health and safety problems of the workforce in Sports Company in China. In the production process of sports goods, numerous hazardous chemicals and certain other additive glues are used that that emanate volatile organic compounds. These compounds can be a source of various problems related to health of the work force. Studies revealed that the impact of these compounds includes headaches, shin diseases, respiratory issues, dizziness, and visual disorders (Brown and O’rourke, 2007). Alongside these wastes of these compounds have serious implications on the environment and natural habitat causing environmental pollution and thus results in increasing global warming (CI, 2012).

In 2000, China Labor Watch (CLW) conducted investigations on branded manufacturing industries and factories in China. CLW was based in New York and work for the rights of labor and human rights to promote fair distribution of wealth in China (Anon., 2010). The investigation was conducted in many other manufacturing companies like Wall Mart, IKEA, Carrefour, Dollar General, Best buy and also manufacturing company of sportswear like Nike, Puma, Adidas, timberland and Rebook. According to the reports of CLW it has been observed that the CLW is working hard for the betterment of the workforce of the China. The CLW attention towards the factory workers many issues has been observed and reported from the labors of different companies in the country. According to them no such prescribed rights are being given to the workers in the company as Anon, (2010) contended that the conditions of the workers in China are miserable.

With the CLW later in the year 2002 Chinese government introduced laws of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to encourage factories, industries and large labor organizations to implement code of conduct, health and safety measures for workers and provide rights of labors. Till 2005, many organization implemented comprehensive system of safety and health care measures, internal and external audits, assigning supervision on factory workers etc. (Bob, 2014). According to the CLW report 2006 a joint investigation has been conducted between the CLW and ILO in order to analyses the working conditions of the workforce of Chinese manufacturing companies. As the report clearly states that due to CLW regulations improvements in working hours and wage rates are been observed.

1.2.Problem Statement

There are a lot of problems in every society however some problems are worked upon for necessary solutions while others are left to become a norm. The problem lies not in the economy but in the way the society treats the problem and the work the society does to rectify the problem. The reason that the safety issues are not a matter of great concern is due to the fact the People’s Republic of China has a very big population; multinational companies want to work with China due to the availability of not just cheap labor but also the overall economies of scale that is achieved at China. This is the reason why workers are treated less as humans and more like machines. This is the ground problem: the population is huge. The country is full of opportunities for the whole world to come to and work with while in order to manage a country this big, it is not easy. Regulations have been made in the past like the ‘Occupational Disease Control Act of PRC’ and the ‘Work Safety Act of PRC’ (both introduced and enforced in 2002) but the proper check-in-balance of both, or the effectiveness, is undefined or vague. The problem being faced by workers of long hours and risky life at work is of prime importance for the wellbeing of the workers however, with regulations in place, still no effective work is being done to solve the problems at hand. Therefore, a more remedial approach is needed in order to resolve this burning issue in the country. With the change in industrial practices around the globe there is also a need of best practices operations in the China’s sports sector. Therefore, this study aims at identifying factors that will help solving the issues resulting with the health and safety concerns of the work force in China’s sports industry.

The company under consideration reports on the safety measures taken by it in every annual report it publishes, for past many years; however, many years there have been accidents and incidents for which they have had to apologies and accordingly compensate employees. It all boils down to the fact that due to huge amounts of resources available the work is the priority not the resources; resources here specifically mean the human resources.

1.3.Aim of the study 

The purpose of the current study is to evaluate the health and safety management in the sports sector of China with a view to provide certain improvement methods.

1.4.Research Objectives

The objectives of the study are

  • To review the current literature in order to understand the organizational structure of the manufacturing company’s health and safety issues.
  • To analyze the health and safety management policy of the company with admiration of the workforce of the factory.
  • To recommend certain health and safety enhancement methods through the present case studies of Yue Yuen factory.

1.5.Scope of the study

The following study was aimed to identify the problems associated with the china’s sports industry. The company has wide operations and so as many workers, but in the present study participants includes management and factory worker at the production stage. Selecting the production stage for collecting data of the study is because workers mainly deal with the chemicals and also largest number of workers is related in this stage. Similarly the unawareness regarding the chemicals usage by the workers and its serious implications are the major reason in selecting this sector of industry. The following study is conducted in order to highlight one of the major issues pertaining in the sports industry of China. This industry is considered as one of the economic pillars of China however, no importance has been given to the working conditions of the factories and their impact on the workforce. Therefore, the following study has been designed in order to gain an insight that what are the actual problems of the workforce and their safety and health issues.

The present study is a case study where it helps in providing insight in to the ongoing phenomenon and allows the researcher to collect data through interviews. The present study tries to create awareness about the ongoing problem of the Chinese sports industry where by there is a greater  need to ascertain these problems and try to take steps for their improvements. Researcher uses best of its knowledge and hard work to highlight the issue in the following paper and also suggest few recommendations for the company and regulatory authority for their improvement of health and safety concerns of the employees.

1.6.Structure of Dissertation

The research is a consolidation of six chapters namely Introduction, Literature Review, Methodology, Data Analysis, Discussion and Conclusion & Recommendations.

Chapter 1 is based introducing the problem and the case under consideration together with mentioning the aim, objectives and schedule of the research.

Chapter 2 is based on in-depth review of the literature on causes and effect of the Health and safety management of factory workers.

Chapter 3 will define the research design and the overall chosen methodology while simultaneously including description about the form of data that would be collected and how it would be collected; moreover it would also talk about the procedure of analysis that would done in chapter 4.

Chapter 4 would cater to an in-depth analysis of the collected data in order to give basis to solve the problem at hand.

Chapter 5 would be focused on integrating all the findings of the first 4 chapters; turning all the data into a robust and logical discussion that would serve the purpose and become the basis of the last chapter.

 

 

2.Chapter Two: Literature Review

2.1.Introduction

This chapter includes in-depth analysis of health and safety concerns of labor force in the sport sector of China. The first section will review the international laws for the protection of health and safety concern of employees. It will also discuss health and safety management in sports industry and laws given by International Labor Organization (ILO); and their implications. The Chinese manufacturing industry plays an important role globally; the share of pie of Chinese manufacturing industry, in the overall manufacturing industry of the globe, is very high compared to other countries. However, with such a huge business number of concerns are also attached such as, wages, unions, over time, discrimination, and forced labor but the present study will focus on one of the major concern that is the issues related to health and safety at workplace.

This study has selected Chinese company Yue Yuen industrial holding as case for the following research. The study highlights the current problem of health and safety and wellbeing in sports sector in China. The participants (interviewers) will include the management and workforce of the company. The study will focus on the production employee’s stage of the company.

2.2.Health and safety laws Globally 

With the industrialization human relation movements are started for the betterment of the workers at work place. After a long and resilient time gradually organizations considered employees’ rights at work place. Therefore, in the year 1919 ILO was established with the motive of improving the working condition of the employees around the globe. The ILO is now operating as a united nation agency having 187 member states. Besides such regulating agency the statistics reveals that more than 2.3 million deaths occur per year due to the poor conditions over time and harsh working hours, use of hazardous material during work and many other (Angelia, 2014). Such incidences can be prevented by implementing the practices prescribed by international labor organization (ILO). The codes of practice provided by International labor organization set practical guidelines for employers, workers, enterprises and other health and safety protection organization. The code of practice are for every sector like economic sector includes guidelines for construction, open case mines, coal mines, iron and steel industries, nonferrous metal industries, agricultural sector, ship building and repairing an forestry etc.

The China’s health and safety laws directly comply with the international laws of occupational health and safety where different ministries are abide to properly regulate the laws. In the legislative system it has administrative regulations, departmental and local regulations and the OSH standards. Every company according to the Chinese law is strictly abided to follow the standards given by the OSH international standards. As china being a member of international labor organization this industry needs to strictly follow the standards. However, many reports indicated that the company has not taken any serious steps in order to uplift the standard of working conditions.

2.2.1. Work place conditions

Globally work place conditions are more focused in order to provide more facilitative work environment. According to ILO refers to the provision of better working environment which enables the worker for being safer. The conditions also involves that the working space should be spacious and equipped that will not affect the health of any worker.

2.2.2.China’s labour law

The china’s labor laws comply with the international standards. The Chinese government had prescribed in its article 54 of the constitution about the laws of labour. Every detail pertaining to the labour right has been mentioned and fully describe in the Chinese constitution for the rights of the labors.

2.2.3.Labour unions

Internationally the labour unions are assumed to be the representatives of the employees. In history the labour unions have a great role in the development of the labour rights. Labour unions are believed to have a common interest representing the labour community as a whole in the management of the company (Johnston and Hancké, 2009) . Regarding the health and safety measures of the employees’ labour unions can help to solve such issues.

2.2.4.Occupational Health & safety Issues

Occupational safety and health is the concerned area for workers health and safety issues ant workplace.  Justice and Kearney, (2010) argues that the goal of OSH is to foster a safe environment for theworkers in the work place. However, the OSH is a recent phenomena but the labour movement has started from late 80’s with the provision ofproviding the due rights of the factory workers. With the extension of the movemnt for the rights of labours around the globe the occupational safety and health safety provides the guidelines to protect workers against certain hazards like laser radiation, asbestos, visual, display units, chemicals and airborne substance on safety, air and noise pollution, chemicals, toxic material use and many other things related to it (Convention concerning Occupational Safety and Health and the Working Environment, 2010).

International labour organizations have taking strenuous efforts in order to promote awareness about the precautionary measures at the work place. The purpose of the ILO is to ensure safety and healthy working condition and environment for employees at the workplace by setting and enforcing standards, trainings, education and assistance.  Many labour organizations are very active in this regard in order to provide training and bring awareness to the workers about their due rights. However it is the responsibility of the country and then the organization to abide by these laws (Justice and Kearney, 2010). They are also responsible for enforcing standards through regular inspection and assesses fines to those companies who have violated the law (Anon., 2010).

According to international standards employer must ensure following aspects:

  • Training of employees, untrained employees have more health and safety concerns.
  • All equipment’s must be well maintained
  • Safe and healthy working condition for employees
  • Comply with government and OSH rules
  • All workers have required tools and equipment
  • Show consideration to the health and safety of each worker (OSH Law & Regulations, 2010).

Business have to take precautionary measure and take care of its employees especially construction, chemical and other hazardous industries. It is important for every business to practice the standards and ensure that businesses must work according to the occupational Safety and Health laws in the China to protect the rights of the employees (Cheeseman and Fields , 2010).

2.2.5.Working hours

The working hours approved by ILO is the both for private and public sector that is eight hours daily and maximum forty – eight hours in the entire week (Angelia, 2014). There are no exceptions acceptable even for factory workers, mines, construction or any other business.

2.2.6.Wage rate and remuneration

The ILO clearly indicates the wage rates of the employees. the government of any statealso fixes their wage rate per the economic conditions of the country. According to the global wage report of ILO in the year 2014/2015 the china wage rate from the 2013 has been growing with the 01 percent annually.

2.2.7.Training regarding health and safety

Training is considered as an important aspect of the employee development. Today many multinational companies in order to sustain their workforce and for maximum productivity try to train their employees that they can be more productive (Wilson et al., 2005). Regarding the health and safety concern it has been prescribed in the ILO standards the companies frequently gives training and build awareness sessions for their employees in order to ensure their safety.

2.2.8.Social Security benefits

International labor organization (ILO) has laid down the standards that every factory should follow to meet international standards and to provide social security benefits and conditions to the employees and workers. By providing these health benefits such as health, income and social security services will enhance the productivity of the organization and ensure that equality prevails in every organization. It also promotes the stability and equal employment opportunity for every one as it is the right of every individual to be employed and work (McKean, 2011).  According to the China’s labor laws under article 54 it is important for the company to provide social security which mainly includes benefits of medical care, old age, sickness, unemployment, family protection, employment injury, sick and casual leaves and retirement benefits. These laws are made to ensure that all national and international companies must abide by it and government must ensure that these laws are implemented in every organization.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) have provided rights for employee includes firing or laying off, blacklisting, demoting, transfer, denying overtime, lack of benefits provided, intimidation, failure to hire on basis on age, gender, race and ethnicity, lack of safety measures in the organization and reducing pay for hourly basis etc. (Angelia, 2014). Employee could exercise their rights by filling a complaint against the employer within specified period of time.

2.2.9.Health and safety rights of employees

According to the international labour organization (ILO) every factory and organization must they are protecting the rights of their workers and employees especially in workplace security and health and safety concerns. These include:

  • Must provide secure workplace to protect from injury and illness.
  • Must take care of employee’s physiological and psychological needs.
  • Promote safety regulations and protect people against work risk to health, safety and security.
  • Must provide consultation and co-operation between employer and employee in achieving ILO act.
  • Must ensure that risk to health and safety at workplace are minimized and eliminated.
  • Practice and promote community awareness of occupational health and safety issues
  • Must practice and promote legislative framework of ILO and ensure that all safety, health and security standards are met.
  • Must ensure that all employees are safe against the workplace risks (Collier, 2010).

There are different things an employer can do in order to carry the necessary code of conduct or work conduct in the organization, from the employees. Employees are bound to follow the companies SOPs (Standards of Procedure) while simultaneously making sure that no act is unlawful; otherwise this may lead to career as well as life problems. In order to make sure that the proper work conduct is followed and that all the actions are correct and lawful, there are various methods that or used and can be used. 7-test is one of the various methods and it will now be discussed to attract necessary attention towards the problem and the possible solution at hand.

 

2.2.10.Seven Test for Employee protection

International labour laws have given the 7-Test to protect the rights of employees. The clause includes:

Employee warned adequately of the consequences of his conduct.

  • The employer’s rule /order are associated to efficient and safe operations.
  • Management investigated the matter before terminating or firing.
  • Has investigation produce substantial evidence or proof of guilt.
  • Investigation must be fair and object.
  • Rules, associated penalties and orders are applied evenly without any type of discrimination.
  • The associated penalty is related to the seriousness of the related offense committed and the past record (Smith, May and Koven, 2006).

The seven tests are for every factory, as the employer cannot fire the employee without prior notification and warnings. The seven tests ensure that employee must be warned before applying the penalty and the action taken against the employee must be investigated (Katzenbach, 2008).

The employer must ensure that employees are treated without discrimination. Most commonly workers join unions in order to gain protection against the unjust and unfair action of the employer. The seven tests ensure that employer has used just cause to handle the discipline (Smith, May and Koven, 2006). It is important that the employee shall only be discharged or disciplined for just cause. In this case the employer has no just cause for firing the employee and above it the employer has not given prior warnings to the employee for his wrong actions. The just standards could only be ensured when the employer has followed all the seven tests before taking any disciplinary action against the employee.

The seven tests is the one of the various methods used by the employee for unjust action taken by the employer (Schwartz, 2013). The union members could only protect the unjust termination. If the termination or disciplinary action is not just than the union will take action against the employer. Employees often join unions in order to gain protection against the unjust and unfair action of the employer (Schwartz, 2013).

2.3.Health and Safety in sports sector in China

As with changes in world manufacturing sector the global economic patterns were also changes were severe recessions were faced by numerous countries and in such instances level of employment fell much instantly (Hsieh and Klenow, 2007). Therefore, the word has shifted its view to a place where there was an availability of resources and thus China became the manufacturing hub of the world. There are number of businesses that are inclined to operate from the China. Similar is the case with the sports business. China’s sports industry deals with the all related business with the manufacturing of sports goods to the sports real estate development. Number of sportswear companies outsourced their business to China as mentioned previously like Adidas, Puma Nike, and many more. However these companies have taken to ensure and standardize all the policies and practices of international level. They were of view that all the operations that are being practiced in the China will be of international level. However, on the ground and operational level it does not seems to be operating because we have found that the factories have much miserable operational conditions exists. Problems that are major concern of the factory are like wage rate, labour union problems, health and safety measure, long working hours, overtime payments and many more.

In the year 1982 occupational health and safety body was established with the view of resolving health and safety issues of the work force in organizations. The key areas of occupational health and safety issues are reduction in occupational accidents and reducing the threat of serious health diseases, management control and also to ascertain better working and social relationship with in the organization as to create better and more comprehensive and healthy work environment (Quinlan, Bohle & Lamm, 2010). Besides these regulatory bodies no reduction in these occurrences has been observed. However, it has also been revealed that the government and these regulatory bodies are not paying attention on this great issue. Therefore, the numbers of such incidences has not decreased as according to the national profile report of ILO (2011) such incidences are consistently increasing.

The factors that contribute towards the safety measures according to Donald & Carter, (1994) individual attitude is also very important in order to reducing the issues. Significant associating between the behaviour of employees and rate of accidents in the industry has been found (Donald & Carter, 1994). Numerous studies in this regard reveal that employees behaviour and the organizational factors that are the main determinant of the work safety (Zacharatos, Barling and Iverson 2005).  However, Griffen & Neal, (2005) highlighted that these accident increased mainly because of the poor implementation of all the prescribed procedures of health and safety measurements. He further argues that if organizations provide all the basic facilities for improving the working conditions it will reduce all the accidents to 80% which is relatively a large number. However, the organizations are even reluctant in providing these basic facilities and therefore the results accounts for major health setbacks of workers and leads to devastating and miserable conditions of the factory workers (Burke et al. 2011). 

Therefore it is of utmost importance that there is a great need of strengthening of the safety regulations as with proper implementations of these policies and procedures at work place. As, Nichols et al. (2007) argues that companies needs to ascertain that policies are in compliance with the state rules and government needs to properly regulate it. Whereas, Fenn & Ashby, (2004) demonstrate the dual roles of these committees firstly role is to channelize the complaints about all the hazardous chemicals and secondly to provide provisions of compensations if any fatal accident occurs at the work place. With the view of Walters, (2004) he argue that these practices may be different between the larger and smaller enterprises. As multinational companies have different organizational culture and practices whereas, those of smaller companies. Furthermore the occupational health and safety measures have different factors that need to be taken in consideration while implementing these procedures such as better management should adequately ensure that all these procedures are being properly implemented and regular inspections will help to reduce these threats to the minimum.

Researches have revealed that the employees should be involved in the occupational health and safety work practice in order to have more prescribed and positive results (Quinlan & Mayhew, 2000; Weick 2011). However, certain researches have been conducted to represent the terms conditions, technical changes and code of practices for occupational health and safety practices. As, Quinlan & Mayhew, (2000) argues that employee involvement can only be increased with the proper training sessions. These sessions help in bringing awareness about the work place practices and its negative impacts on the workers’ health. Therefore a continuous training program helps to change individual attitude towards the conditions that has harmful effects.

The systematic approach according to Ellis (2001) will help in protecting employees from fatal accidents, if companies are seriously inclined in protecting their employees from any serious diseases they should ensure that all practices are properly implemented. Similarly the management needs to be more flexible towards their employees concerns. The companies effective occupational health and safety management surely according to Gallagher et al., (2001) depend upon the open communication between the management and the workforce and also the high employee involvement in such decision making processes.

As discussed previously that type of organization is also determines the likelihood of these incidents. As, Hudson (2000) investigated that the prevention method of the occupational health and safety measure varies with the countries and their prescribed policies governed by the government. He further argues that the social and physical environment also contributes in this regard as if employees adopt the organizational culture and management they feel that they are part of the organisation.

The Yue Yuen Company is one of the largest supplier of companies like Nike Adidas and Puma. The company has worker more than 250,000 in the year 2015 (Yue Yuen, 2015). The Company was also a member of Capacity Building Project of China of Occupational Health and Safety. According to this project the members will set health and safety plan for the workers of the company.  According to the company’s report it is also an active member in order to protect the society as a whole. The company actively participates in social causes and also raises voices of environmental concerns. According to the corporate social responsibility of the company, numerous initiatives were taken for the protection of their work force. However, ground realities completely undermine the companies. Similarly the code of conduct was developed by the company for the occupational health and safety measures (Taylor, 2008).

2.3.1.Turnover of Labour in Chinese factory

In recent years, the high turnover rate of labours in Chinese factories and manufacturing industries is a major topic of concern. It is estimated that more than 200 % per annum of turnover rate is recorded in Chinese factories. The average turnover rate is recorded as 140% in one factory which is considered to be very high as compare to turnover across the world. It is estimated that the turnover rate will increase by 15 – 20% more in this region especially in manufacturing factories (Liu, 2005). These factories faces many hardships due to the cost associated with the high turnover rate and the company suffer having fines and legal action from the government.

There are variety of reason for the turnover, few of them include, rude and bad behavior of the management, no response to leaves, bad health and working conditions, low wages no promotional structure, no time off, overtime work with less incentives etc. Managers often found to be abusive towards the workers; they insult and criticize them that lead to low motivation of the workers and high turnover rate.

2.4.Health and Safety Regulations in China

The People’s Republic of China is a huge economy and a huge population lives and works to make a living in the country. The two major contributors to the economy remain service and manufacturing while their regulation, sector as well as industry wise, remains a big challenge. Ministry of Health, in People’s Republic of China, is responsible for looking after the regulation and its effectiveness in the domain of occupational disease prevention in work environment. On the other hand, State Administration of Work Safety, the managing and regulating body, is responsible for the safety issues in the working environment in China. This is at the bigger level, however, it is different at the municipal level; there Health Supervisions look after the  domain of occupational health while the local bureaus of Work Safety are responsible for the safety at work environment. In the middle of the year 2002, the ‘Occupational Disease Control Act of PRC’ came into force while the ‘Work Safety Act of PRC’ was introduced and later enforced in the end of the same year. The prevention of diseases, specifically the occupational ones, are still in their initial stage when one compares it with the advancements in the same domain in other countries like the United Kingdom or United States of America.

These laws have been part of the system for a good 14 years; however, their effectiveness and action plan on the unlawful actions is still not very visibly in practice. If amendments are brought in these laws, or new similar but even stricter laws are introduced, then the course of action of many companies, like the one in consideration, can change in respect to working environment safety and health of the workers.

 

2.4.1.Working hours in China

The Chinese labour laws states no factory is allowed to make forced overtime hours for labours and in addition so employer is allowed to deduct salary if not done overtime (Wenting, 2011). It is compulsory for every factory to follow the laws of the country. Majority of the industries and factories violates the laws as they force the workers to work overtime and usually this work is 11-12 hours a day with only two days off in the entire month during the peak seasons. In this way they violate the Chinese labour law regulations (Lau, 2015).

2.4.2.Wages and other benefits in China

Construction companies, factories and industries have similar problems as they give extra workload to their employees and try to get maximum work from them. Construction companies, factories and industries do not take good care of their employee’s safety, security and health that result in dissatisfied employees.

 In this way the company violates the Chinese labour law regulations. In addition, Bonuses and incentives should be provided to the employees. Benefits of paid sick leaves, relative visits days, maternal leaves and annual vacations are different in every factory but it is important to have minimum number approve by the of the country (Liyan Qi, Burkitt and Lilian Lin, 2014).

2.5.Review of cases on Yue Yuen industrial holding company 

The company consists of more than 60,000 workers that cuts, glues, assembles, inspect and make ready to wear shoes every day (Anon., 2010). The Yue Yuen Company claims to have a code of conduct to work maximum 60 hours per week and receive wages in return with living facility. The standards establish by the Yue Yuen Company were similar to labour laws and code of conduct prescribed by the International labour organization and international labour laws. Labour advocates that the monitoring and implementation of these laws are never done and they are given sub optimal importance in the organization especially with production workers. The code of conduct are generally excluded from the general mechanism that workers work and all tasks are monitored, checked and implemented (Szudy, Rourke and Brown, 2003). Consequently, workers in the affected factories generally never get the idea of these codes and they are not trained to abide by them. The monitoring, implementation and compliance program focus on the workers to abide by company laws rather than to follow company code of conduct. These codes of conducts are excluded from the mechanism, monitoring and implementation part while importance is given to company policies.

There are many predominant female workforces who work in the factory and sleep in a small room near the factory. However, despite code of conduct guidelines the company fails to provide gloves to protect their hands and also never gives them safety glasses to protect their eyes. Especially during the peak hours of productions they are supposed to over time with no additional wages that leads to violation of labour laws. Many factories of the Yue Yuen Company have poor working conditions that are harsh for the physical health of workers. The workers are forced to work overtime for excessive hours without pay has been increased since a decade. Company own code of conduct, health and safety guidelines, wages and benefits, working hours, overtime compensation and benefits are being violated and workers are treated with discrimination, harassment of firing from job etc. are being exercised in the factories. In addition, the child labour is also being practiced in many factories. Many workers don’t even know the health and safety rights and code of the conduct of the factories and are unaware of their rights to complaint against the Yue Yuen Company.

In 2001 and 2002, due to the strikes and pressure from international labour organizations the Yue Yuen Company have been forced to be involve in facilitating employees training program and establish a code of conduct to comply with international health and safety laws. The Yue Yuen Company in collaboration with other Chinese footwear industries decided to contribute in China capacity building project organized to implement occupational health and safety of factory workers (G, 2003). According to this project the companies were comply to provide health and safety measures with the employees. Furthermore, this capacity building project also focused on other issues regarding the discrimination. Gender biases, working hours and so forth. Though the project has highlighted all the issues regarding the problems of the employees in the companies but its poor implementation seems to have failed the overall project. The policies were made at the top level management but no serious implementation of these policies took place. Therefore there a need of more comprehensive approach from the government in order to obtain more positive and better results.

For Instance a training session was conducted by an NGO in Hong Kong China In the year 2007 where including shop floor level from the plants, supervisor and manager from departmental or plant wide that are responsible for occupational health and safety in the plant area.  The training was aimed to train individuals who have a concern for future and has direct involvement in the departmental or plant wide activities and interest in implementing occupational and health safety concerns in the factory (Katzenbach, 2008). Every member was train to initiate different activities at the plan and sustain active workplace for health and safety concerns and that member should be able to involve workers, supervisors and managers working in the factory. This training session bought much awareness to the employees about their health concerns and when the NGO took feedback from the similar participants after a year it was found that the employees have demanded for their health and safety assurance from the company.

The present research was conducted on Yue Yuen industrial holding company to find out the health and safety issues and pay rate given to the employees by the company. The researchers found that majority of the workers of Yue Yuen industrial holding company are immigrants from Hunan, Henan, Jiangxi and Hubei (A Case Study: Adidas and Yue Yuen , 2010). 80% of the workers are of age 18-22 years old. The research found major issue was long working hours that has been considered standard in the sports industry (A Case Study: Adidas and Yue Yuen , 2010). In case of Yue Yuen industrial holding company the research found that workers typically work for 10-12 hours a day with seven days a week. This does not include the over time that makes up to 60-84 hours a week that was considered as the normal schedule of the workers. The Yue Yuen industrial holding company is misusing the workers and getting work from them 16 hours overtime without any pay.  In addition, research also found that Yue Yuen industrial holding company was violating the rules of China by not giving Saturday and Sunday off. Construction companies, factories and industries do not take good care of their employee’s safety, security and health that result in employees’ dissatisfaction. The research though has been comprehensively done but the present study research is more like a one way stance towards the proper solution. The researchers have defined the practices and happening of specific years like 2002, 2008 and 2010 while doing a necessary comparison. The research defines the problems and the factors that are leading to these problem, however, it is missing the aspect of making necessary recommendation and a course of action that would lead to problem being solved. This was the main gap that was identified through the literature; a gap that this research will fill by analyzing the current scenario of the not just the company but the country as well and then draw necessary conclusions and make recommendations through a holistic view and analysis.

Donaghu, (2009) study was conducted to evaluate the pay scale of workers in the Yue Yuen company with timings found that 80% of the workers typical work day consist of 10-12 hours a day with additional 2 hours of overtime each day. Furthermore the result of the study shows that people who failed to do over time receives warning or they have to pay fine. However, Chinese labour laws claims that their code of conduct never force labor to work overtime without pay. The research found that forcing workers to work overtime without pay and especially after working 12 hours a day that is against the code of conduct of Chinese labor laws and the international companies. In addition, even if the workers are given overtime work they must be given at least 1.5 times the regular wages according to the China Labor law article 44. However at Yue Yuen industrial holding company, workers did not even get any money for overtime work and their monthly wage is between $48.19 to $72.20 US dollars per month.

Collier (2010) found that Yue Yuen industrial holding company does not adhere to the social security, health care, baby care and other bereavement leaves or benefits given in the Chinese law. It is mandatory by law to give health care on regular basis and health checkups especially working in shoe or textile industry. However, Yue Yuen industrial holding company does not provide health care or health checkups to their workers. Similarly, majority of the workers does not have any safety protection equipment for working on daily basis and had to face many cuts on hands from glue and machine work. The workers don’t even have environmental protection facilities. Many of them have skin irritation and often suffer from headache, dizziness, insomnia, itching and pain. However company does not provide any help to the workers. The company workers have no knowledge about the Nike or Reebok or even China’s code of conduct. The Yue Yuen industrial holding company does not even follow ISO9002 laws of health and safety laws and companies such as Nike and Reebok are considered as one of their major clients puts no objection on the company(Gereffi, 2009).

Another report found that discrimination against male workers as the factory’s firm give more favor to female workers as they are more obedient (Zhang et al., 2004). Male workers are treated as they are unwanted except for those who have financial power to pay bribery.  All the factories of the company have inadequate overtime premium, where workers are forced to come 40 minutes early for meeting however in reality they were given work to do and are not paid for it (Henderson, Dicken,Hess, Coe, and Yeung, 2012).  Wage arrears are also been practices as the day salaries were given are often after the actual data of salary. Majority of time they were given net wages and no overtime bonus or incentives were given.

No health or safety insurance were given to the workers and they were not even given any safety equipment that result in declined health due to daily exposure to chemicals, glue and other toxic material (Chan and Wang, 2004).

Only one case of Yue Yuen Company will be discussed in this research. The final section will discuss the effects on workers of the Yue Yuen industrial holding company and how they deal with it.

2.6.Summary 

The review of literature helped identify not just the past works of research on this domain but also it helped greatly in identifying the gap that can be filled with this research. Many aspects were viewed and the necessary aspects were recorded in this chapter to help give basis the case studies and data analysis that come after this chapter.

Funnel approach was used in order to see the global perspectives and laws in place and action followed by the need and applicability of such laws and the actions of regulatory bodies. Moreover, the company was analysed in detail in order to understand the course of action that is happening inside the factories for the purpose of manufacturing.

After the review of literature some important things have been identified like the company under consideration is regularly under the limelight and faces a lot of lawsuits by employees. It was also discovered that in an important and public document, the annual report, the company each year identifies and modifies its practices and course of action considering the health and safety of the employees. Which leads to the fact that though the company is doing its part in informing public about its actions, the country has laws that protect the employees and there is a list of filed and resolved cases, however, no proper structure is in place that can ensure whatever is in place is effective enough for the employees to either look forward to or turn back to. In football, for example, there is global organization named Fédération Internationale des Associations de Footballeurs Professionnels (FIFPro) which safeguards the right of the workers/players on international level; an organization that takes the regulator like FIFA to court. Why then there is no organization big enough to protect the safety and health of the workers.

The comprehensive review of the literature suggests that work has been done in the past on this domain however no complete solution has been provided by researchers; this research has the purpose to fill that gap. Quality as well as quantity has been put into the first two chapters in order to have a clear view that would be the basis of focus for the chapters to come in this research. Numerous studies suggest that the working conditions in Chinese companies are not up to the prescribed Law (Bob, 2014; Angelia, 2014). The devastating condition is affecting their health much negatively. However, pertaining to the sports industry this industry has never been highlighted in this regard. China yet gain many economic gain from the sports industry but there has not been enough research that how their pertaining conditions of work force has been effected so badly (Liyan Qi, Burkitt and Lilian Lin, 2014).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.Chapter 3: Research Methodology

3.1.Introduction

The emphasis of this chapter will be on the methods adopted for conducting the research. This also includes paradigm as well as design of study, method adopted for sampling along with interpretation and collection of data. Research paradigm as well as methods are included on the first section. Furthermore, the focus of next section will be on design as well as relevance of method selected for research. In the ending section, data collection method will be emphasized. Both primary and secondary data collection methods will be discussed. In the end, data interpretation strategies as well as method of explanation will be discussed.

3.2.Research Methodologies Available

Researchers focus on three types of research designs that are called quantitative research as well as mix method along with qualitative research. Every study or research is different from each other and have certain plus and negative points. That is why, the research design of every research is different. Research design is considered to be working design or outline of the task that specifies what data is to be gathered from which source and by what techniques (P. E. Green, D.S. Tull and G. Albaum, 1993). This is fundamentally the plan of study in which all the requirement of approaches and actions are deliberated for obtaining the data which is desired for problem resolution. Research methodology focuses on the discussion of the research design and what technique is to be used to carry out the study. It is considered fundamental to attain good understanding of major concerns in research paradigms before selecting a particular research technique.

Normally, the method to view certain situation is different for every researcher. It can have a major effect on the selected research procedure. The preference and choice of an investigator plays an important part in defining the methodology and technique to be used for carrying out study. Research is considered to be highly useful and it refers towards a specific problem or matter and is useful in analysing the problem so that information can be gained or increased. Findings of the studies are further used by researchers as secondary information. Study ultimately gives a chance to the students or/ and investigators to discover a problem or research matter by focusing on suitable research technique.

3.3.Choice of Research Methodology

Quantitative research is considered as a systematic experimental study of specific observed situation via numerous mathematical, numerical and computational methods. Quantitative research focuses on quantifiable information to find out the facts and figures about the research issue. There are different types of data collection approaches that can be used by researchers including online and paper survey as well as interviews along with questionnaire, longitudinal studies together with statistical observations and online polls (Creswell, 2013). The quantitative research technique is useful in providing empirical observation as well as explanation along with measurement, verifiable theories, together with tests, experimental strategy of inquiry, unbiased technique and statistical interpretations along with standards for validity and reliability of study. Quantitative research is considered to be highly useful because the researcher can quantify the experience as well as events and can easily generalize the findings. The data used for quantitative research is measureable and can be used to define facts and figures about the research issue. Findings can be obtained in numerical form and the validity of the research can be easily calculated. There is a flaw in quantitative research method i.e. the reality may not be reflected by the researcher and this indicates that the knowledge acquired is too theoretical and general to apply on every person. In case of quantitative research, the data and findings can be too much systematic that it may leads to wrong results (Tashakkori & Teddlie, 1998).

3.3.1.Qualitative research

Qualitative research is another technique that is used by researchers to conduct the study. This technique focuses on detailed examination of the social setting that includes observation as well as case study or participating in the research by really living with individuals in the society and observers it personally (Neuman, 2013). The qualitative research focuses on the case study method that focuses on detailed explanation of any issue that cannot be generalized. Main strong points of Qualitative research are that it is descriptive and expressive one. The main emphasis of this technique is on making observations, understanding them and then lastly interpreting its meaning with the help of comprehensive explanation that is not included in the quantifiable data. In addition, qualitative research method offers explanation of difficult circumstances and phenomena of natural settings and genuineness (Smith, 1983). Detailed as well as correct data is collected from participants of research and it focuses on detailed examination of the phenomena. There is a weak point associated with qualitative research, that is it does not provide numerical findings and findings cannot be generalized. Furthermore, it has subjective nature thus individual favouritisms and impacts could affect the outcomes (Johnson, 2008).

3.3.2.Combined Approach

Mixed method is considered to be highly useful but complicated research method that focuses on both quantitative and qualitative research techniques at a time (Smith, 1983). Both numerical along with theoretical perspectives are covered by this approach. The combinations of strengths of both quantitative as well as qualitative research method make it suitable, adequate and generalizable. The solutions provided by mixed approach are suitable ones. Researchers focusing on mixed method make them able to base their findings on both numerical and descriptive theory. Due to presence of triangulation, mixed method removes the flaws of quantitative as well as qualitative research and permits for more generalizability, durable proofs and detailed understanding (Johnson, 2008). There are different negative aspects associated with mixed method research technique. This research method is costly and is time consuming. It is not an easy task to use the mixed method and the interpretation of results is too way difficult. This research approach is difficult to be applied and a person having no vast knowledge about this method cannot use it in an effective way (Reichardt & Cook, 1979). Keen attention and detailed understanding is necessary for the researcher to use both qualitative and quantitative research methods at a time.

3.4.Research Approach

3.4.1.Inductive approach

According to Goddard and Melville (2009) define inductive reasoning is defined as the observation that are specific ends up boarder generalization and developing grounded theory. It is more like a bottom up approach begins with specific observation and measures that tries to find patterns and themes from the data, formulate hypothesis that explores the tentative theories and generalized conclusions. Inductive approach is opening ended and exploratory (Neuman, 2013). Detailed analysis is provided by this approach regarding the analysis of the social environment.

3.4.2.Deductive Approach

Read (2007) defines it deductive reasoning as a top down approach that begins with thinking about a theory related to topic. The deductive reasoning is taken from one or more statements which is known as the premises and leads to a more logical conclusion.  It narrows down during data collection and observation to test the hypothesis. Ultimately it leads to proving hypothesis of the study and relate to the theory developed. In the deductive approach the results are more certain whereas narrowing down the range under consideration by applying different rule until the conclusion is left (Goddard and Melville, 2009). Therefore, the results obtain from the deductive reasoning are not probable they are more definite.

The following research is based on deductive reasoning in order to deduce theory from analysis.

3.5.Research Method/s Adopted

In order to conduct the study, qualitative case study related with the sports sector of China is used. The qualitative study is conducted in a natural environment and the investigator examine the complicated environment and focus on the detail understanding of the sample to assess the data (Gillham, 2000).

The main focus of the qualitative research is to make sure that the data is reliable and correct. The aim of qualitative research is to investigate about natural human conduct to answer the queries like how and what within the framework of an organization (Hartley, 2004; Patton & Appelbaum, 2003). Consequently, a case study method has been chosen on the basis of its suitability in the specific study. The case study method in the research is considered to be a best method that clarifies the continuing phenomenon in detail and permits the investigator to gather the interview data by focusing on a specific instrument in the research. With the help of case study research approach, researcher can become capable of understanding the complicated problems and can add to the current literature. Case studies highlight comprehensive related analysis of a limited number of actions or circumstances and their associations.

Researcher Robert K. Yin describes the case study technique as an experiential review that examines a current phenomenon in its real-life framework; when the borders between phenomenon and framework are not obviously apparent; and in which numerous bases of proof are focused (Yin, 1984, p. 23).

3.5.1. Step 1 – Development of Research instrument

Interviews are conducted in order to collect the data. Interview guide was prepared to keep the interview on track according to the themes generated from the literature review. This interview guide will help the researcher to keep the respondent on track and to get relevant information.

3.5.2.Step 2 – Piloting

Pilot testing of the research instrument was done by conducting 2 interviews from the workers of Yue Yuen Company. Pilot study was done to pretest the interview guide. Few new themes were generated after conducting the pilot study. It also helped to see if respondent could be able to understand the interview guide wording and meaning of the question asked.

3.5.3.Step 3 –Sample Selection

The population of the study includes all the production department employees of Yue Yuen Company.

The data was gathered from the supervision which is accountable for the suitable implementation of the organized work-related health and safety management activities. The privacy of the members will be guaranteed. The interview was collected from employees, administration and management of the production department of the Yue Yuen Company. Researcher conducted telephonic semi structured interviews of 20 employees of the Yue Yuen Company. Out of 20, 10 were the labours, 5 were the managers and 5 administrative heads to know the detail of labor problems. Each interview was completed within 30 minutes approx. 

The unit of Analysis of this study employees and managers of Yue Yuen Company who pre-qualified the participation criteria.

3.5.4.Step 4 – Data Collection and Recording

Both primary data and secondary data will be gathered to carry out the study. Research approach focused for this research is exploratory in nature and detailed analysis of the research questions will be conducted. Exploratory research emphases on the explanation of definite phenomena’s that happen and evaluates cause and effect relationship between variables selected for the research purpose.

3.5.4.1.Primary Data Sources

The primary data was gathered for this study through personal observations as well as interviews. Sample selected for the study was management and staff of the Yue Yuen Company. Researcher has gathered the information and data through telephonic interviews.

3.5.4.2.Secondary data

No secondary data is required in the study for the analysis. However, we will discuss in light of Yue Yuen company reports, International Labour Organization (ILO) reports, labour statistics survey, previous studies findings etc., in our discussion section.

3.5.4.3.Triangulation of sources

Researcher has collected data or information by focusing on observation as well as interviews along with reviewing the documents of company. The determination of observation is to add detail to the findings of the research. Aim of studying the documents is to analyses the practices and application of corporation’s occupational health and safety management for adding validity to the study.

3.5.5.Step 5 – Data Analysis

The research is the exploratory study, related with on Yue Yuen Company of china. Researcher has recorded the interviews via digital Dictaphone to use it for analysis. Researcher has converted interviews from digital form to word document form. Researcher has focused on coding to understand the collected data. Researcher has emphasized on critical analysis. The data will be carefully handled, analysed and interpreted to find the results and to infer correct findings. Findings of the study will be highly useful for the corporations to make changes in their practice of health and safety management to stop the problems.

Though, in this study the ‘contents’ of the interview copies and records of the corporation were used to discuss the findings of the research. Researcher has recorded the interviews and main issues were taken out. The main themes are deliberated below in the analysis and results of the research work. The extracts of the records were provided under the themes as proofs.

3.6.3.4 Data Analysis Procedure

Data Analysis consists of following steps

  • Data preparation
  • Data immersion
  • Data reduction
  • Data interpretation

3.6.1.Data Preparation

Preparation of facts includes recording the information. Transcripts deliver the investigator with a chance to get involved with his or her study material right from the start of the data gathering process (Biber & Leavy, 2010).  In this study, researcher has transcribed 20 semi- structured interviews and noted the information gathered from observation.

3.6.2.Data Immersion

In this study researcher has read the data again and again to become familiar with the quotations and phrases of respondent. Researcher has further reflected on the data and attempted to identify themes and patterns noticed during the interviews and wrote down important ideas in the form of memos.

3.6.3.Data Reduction

Data reduction includes coding of the information which can be initiated as soon as investigator starts to gather the facts. Coding is considered to be a process of taking out meaning from non- numerical statistics. It is the examination plan that aids investigator recognizes forms in the data. It is an analysis technique which is about discovering patterns, themes and categories in the data (C. Marshal & G.B. Rossman, 2006). In this study the researcher has looked into the indigenous typologies expressed by the respondents during interviews discussion. From these typologies themes and codes have been developed.

3.6.4.Data Interpretation

The analysis view initiates from an assignation with the information and finishes with the theory associated with the data (Biber & Leavy, 2010). It is like story telling in which researcher bring meaning and coherence to the themes, patterns and categories. Interpretation basically means attach significance to the finding with the earlier studies and offering explanation and drawing conclusion. In this study, initially researcher has tried to establish themes from the data of semi-structured interviews in order to generate set of key concepts. From these themes, codes have been generated for data processing. With the help of these themes and codes, logical inferences were developed from which interpretation and explanations were offered that makes sense. The key focus is to evaluate and analyse the data. Hence, after data collection, the next vital initiative taken in this research study would be evaluation and data analysis which would be accomplished with the help collected interviews and own observation.

3.7.Data Validity and Reliability

For the sake of decreasing biasness issue in the research, researcher has used triangulation technique. Consequently, the data was gathered in the form of observation as well as document review along with interviews. The aim of observation is to add detail to the outcomes of the research. Aim of studying the documents is to analyses the practices and application of corporation’s occupational health and safety management for adding validity to the study.

3.8.Ethical concerns

Social research is related to society and its major issues. Ethics is very important part of research. Ethical dimension includes consent from the respondent, willing of the participants to become part of the research, not disclosing names of the participants and organization involved etc. As my research is qualitative in nature therefore, during interview collection participants voluntarily consent will be taken and for anonymity and confidentiality the name of the participants will be kept confidential.

3.9.Summary

Researcher has selected the qualitative method to attain the goal and purposes underlined in Chapter one. The chief aim for that was to answer queries established that had exploratory in nature. Researcher has collected the data by focusing on qualitative approach and conducted 20 semi-structured interviews with workers and supervision of the business concern.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.Chapter 4: Finding and Analysis

4.1.Introduction

In the present section we will discuss that what the analysis of the interviews conducted and we will also add the transcriptions of the three interviews conducted one from the administrators section, one from the managers and finally one from the employees. The following section will highlights the findings of our study that Cause and Effect of the Health and Safety management of factory workers of sports industry of China.

4.2.Case Study:

4.2.1.Yue Yuen Company

Yue Yuen is the leading and customized designed company that manufactures original equipment that are original design manufacturing and original equipment manufacturing (ODM/OEM) for major international brands. The Company has numerous clients including international brands like Nike, Under Amour, Adidas, New balance, Reebok, Puma, ASICS, timberland and many more.  The Company makes athletic and casual outdoor shoes including joggers, sandals and other shoes. The Company is a subsidiary of Pou Sheng international holdings limited and it is the largest distributor of international brands in entire region especially of sportswear in the greater region of China. The company’s factories are situated in different countries including United States, Indonesia, Mexico and certain countries of Asia as well. Although the Yue Yuen Company is a subsidiary but it distribute directly to the end consumers and also provide services to third party on the basis of wholesale. They also manage the brand license business in the greater China region besides their retail activities.

4.2.2.History of Yue Yuen Company

The history of the Yue Yuen Company started in 1960s when the Tsai family started its business of footwear manufacturing in Taiwan. They started making canvas and rubber footwear as their main product. In 1970s, the Tsai family expanded their business to the production of athletic footwear and targeted on an original equipment manufacturer basis (OEM). Tsai family founded the Yue Yuen Company in early 1980s to sell their branded athletic and branded shoes and footwear. Tsai family controls Pou Chen Corporation that was listed company in Taiwan. The entire groups of athletic foot wear started providing services of distribution in Zhu Hai in 1988 and began expanding them with production facilities in both areas of Dong guan and Zhong Shan. With the expansion and growth of the Company it was listed in Hong Kong stock exchange in 1992 and forms a joint venture with Pour Yuen Company in China. Later they expanded its business in Indonesia and also provide services in Vietnam.

 The Yue Yuen acquired all the equity interest of Pou Chen and Pou Yuen and became largest shareholders of Yue Yuen Company (Anon., 2015). Similarly, they became largest company by 2002 of footwear material production of raw material production and other shoe component. The Yue Yuen group acquired another major company Pro Kingtex that works in sportswear and shoes production facilities in China, Mexico and Vietnam by April 2003. It became a renowned name in the region and constitutes major stocks of Morgan Stanley Capital Investment Company. They also have 45% stake in Eagle Nice International Company that also works in sports apparels till 2005. The Yue Yuen Company joined Chang group as joint venture for athletic and casual shoes manufacturing company in the entire region of China.

4.2.3. Corporate profile

The Yue Yuen industrial holdings limited founded in 1988 was involved in two major businesses that made him the top in the Hong Kong stock exchange market in 1992. Initially they began manufacture footwear mainly in athletic and casual for international brands and companies that operates globally (Anon., 2015). Later, the Yue Yuen industrial holdings limited operates in international brand name for footwear and sports apparel directly to the consumer or through retailers or whole sellers in the Greater China region.

4.3.The Finding and Analysis

In the following study 20 semi structured interviews have been conducted in order to find the health and safety concerns of the employees working in Yue Yuen Company. From the 20 interviews 4 managers were randomly selected, while 6 interviews are conducted from the administrators of the factories and 10 interviews were conducted from the factory workers.

The content analysis of the interview revealed the following results.

4.3.1.Work Place Conditions

The Work place conditions of the factory according to the respondents are not satisfactory. Few of the respondents showed sarcastic behaviour while answering the question. One amongst the factory workers answered

That the conditions are pathetic the noise from the machinery, dirt, there is no proper ventilation system similarly only few of ceiling fans are working ….”

Similarly another respondent answered the question that;

“We are working in very congested place… we are 50 people working in a single hall….”

While the company has policies indicated much a more different picture which is according to the labour law of the country in the article 32 of the china’s labour law, The work place conditions should have all the basic facilities for the workers, and the employee should have a full right to complain if any such practice is not being observed.

If we analyses the interviews it has clearly demonstrated that the company regulations are not complying with actual work place policies. They clearly answered that that how the conditions are getting worse the management has not taken any kind of precautionary measures for their improvement. Similarly the managers had different perspective, the managers try to justify that they are working and trying to improve the working conditions of the factory workers, as one manager answered that

“We ensure better work place conditions according to the rules…”

While another managers answered that;

Though I know the working conditions are not up to the mark, the top management is not much concern, the have kept the budget so tight that we can do nothing, yes we know and we want to improve the conditions, but negligence is from the top management of the company…. They need to plan accordingly give us leverage of incorporating them…..”

From the above discussing are findings are that the company is not serious in giving the due rights of the employees. The motive of higher profit returns are what make company to do not follow the rules and regulation. Beside this it is also observed that the government agencies are also not forcing companies to follow the laws accordingly. The poor conditions of working have serious consequences on the health of factory workers. As one of the administrator answered the question that,

“During the peak seasons on average two to three employees on daily basis collapsed because of heat….”

This clearly indicates that the poor working conditions with no proper ventilation system is the major cause of getting fainted during working hours. The company needs to work in this regard in order to provide their employees with basic facilities in the factory such as fans to escape heat and time to time gap from the work that they should not stand for so long that they get fainted.

4.3.2.The China’s labour Law

The questions asked from the respondents about the labour laws of China the majority of the factory workers were found that they are only aware that the law exists but not what the clause they have.  Whereas administers are found a ware and same of the managers. The problem was that the besides of the laws they were not implemented in the factory. The managers however defended the company that they are incorporating the laws accordingly. But administers and factory workers answers revealed that the company has not taken serious steps for the development of the workers according to the Chinese laws and regulations. The disparity amongst the workers revealed that the major cause is because unawareness of the workers from the law.

One of the factory workers answered this question:

“As a law that exists is not for poor people, they are for those who sit above us they make them only… they do not care whether they are implemented or not… If they would care about us the situation would not be like as we are facing it….”

The depriving conditions of the workers have been released from their answers that they are facing serious problems at the work place they are not being facilitated at all. The company negligence towards the employees is much shocking. Many International brands are the customers of Yue Yuen Company such as Adidas, Nike etc. But these companies even not taking up the issue seriously, the silence of these companies also is a great debate from the international market.

The government of China should frequently visit this work place in order to ensure that all the laws are being followed by the companies and the workers are getting their due right. No such indications we have observed while analysing the respondents interviews. The respondents were clear that no law has been implemented for the rights of the workers in the factory. All is that they have to work without complaining to any of the authority regarding the problems they are facing.

4.3.3.Labour Unions

Labour unions have a pivotal role in any of the company. Many such examples around the world can be seen that how labour unions are working for the development of the employees. Similarly in the Yue Yuen Company the role of labour unions is very essential and they should work for the rights of their employees. However in this company Unions are being poor representatives of the factory. The Unions have no right to collectively bargain with the company’s top management. The violation of collective bargaining law in China also reveals that how to suppress the basic and fundamental rights of the factory workers. Therefore, the company unions have no influential position that can help the workers. Such as one of the respondents said that,

The unions are themselves abided of strict rules they are really unable to do any constructive work for any of us, they are only restricted to speeches and strikes, the company will not listen to them at all…”

The respondents view suggested that the labour unions have no such better representation in the company. Therefore the company is not accounting much in this regard. The company poor working conditions cannot be improved with the labour union. Other stakeholder needs to take certain steps in order to promote and improve the safety culture and resolve the health issues pertaining in the company.

The managers while asked question regarding the labour unions they seemed very uninterested they answered the question that

The labour unions know that the company has provided safety and health facilities they cannot negate that… yeah we know there are discrepancies but I don’t think that it is completely the way the workers explain… it is much better than other companies…”

Thus it’s a clear indication that labour unions have very limited right in the saying of the workers, they are not doing any kind of progress in order to help the their co-workers and also enable them to talk about their due rights.

4.3.4.Occupational Health and Safety Issues

The time is changes now, there was a time when factory workers were treated very badly but after the humanitarian approach things got changed. Now there are policies and practices for the development of the workers due right. But unfortunately there are companies that are not even today full filling the criteria’s of better health and safety provisions.

It was revealed from the data that there are so many health and safety issues in the Yue Yuen Company. The factory workers have no clear idea that what are their respective rights are. They don’t know how to get their rights from the company or talk to the administration about the issues. As one of the worker answered the question regarding health and safety concerns:

“They have lot more workers if we raise voice against them. There is no one who talks about our issues, we are just no body for them……..”

Most of the employee’s answers reveal anger and rage against the administration of the company. Similarly, the administrative staff on the other hand tried to justify that they are working on the protective rights of the worker. The managers’ answers are far more different that those of employees. The protective clothing and all related concerned questions also represented the negligence of the Company towards their employees. One of the respondents also said that

The gloves that they have provided are now much tattered that now they are not even protecting our hands any more…….”

Such arguments from the respondents have clearly indicated that the laws regarding labor safety and health are not being fulfilled.

The answers of administrators were found neutral as one of them responded that,

“We want to follow all the prescribed rules but the management has never taken initiatives, we regular ask them though but their negligence is what we see today…..”

Therefore it is clear from the respondents that the company is not following the occupational and health concerns of the employees at all. However, there has no provision for general health care plan of the company. Similarly the safety culture has completed rule out. The safety culture determines all the basic health and safety issues of the company when one of the managers has been asked about it, the respondent replied that,

the company has ensured safety culture, we have all the facilities concerning to the work place safety, we have emergency doors, fire extinguishers and ambulances in case of any accident takes place…”

Besides the respondents answer the company’s workers and administrators clearly said that no such safety measures exist in the company. One respondent answered that

“We have seen many of our workers who got injured but the company never facilitates neither any such medical facility is available...”

Similar is the situation with the protected clothing of the employees, as discussed above the employees were not facilitated with all the necessary equipment’s in order to ensure that they are not being effected from the chemicals and other factory equipment’s.

The chemicals use in the company are many all of them has serious implications on health. One of the administrators answered that

“On average 2 people get fainted while working in the factories, the major cause is the pungent smell of the chemicals has affected them…”

Similarly another administrator responded

If we analyses the health data of these employees every second employee is affected one way or other due to various reasons accompanied in the factory… stress of work overload leads to pressure, congestion leads to respiratory problems, chemicals are causes of skin allergies, irritations etc.”

Another responded describe this issue

I have a skin allergy doctor always insist me to wear protected clothing while working in the company, the chemicals use to burn your skin and gradually your skin will seriously damage …”

Respondent further replied,

“I have talked to the administrator regarding the issue many times they have one answer the management does not listen to us, we use to complain them again and again but they do not listen…”

This respondent is clear that the top management negligence is the basic issue, for higher gain they are ignoring all the rules which are for workers. Various studies reveal that about 80% of serious injuries are because the workers do not use protected clothing. The company uses many chemicals in the manufacturing process of sportswear goods.

The most common chemicals used in the factory are Benzothiazole, Butylated hydroxyanisole, 4-(t-octyl) phenol, cyclohexanone and n-hexadecane. All these chemicals and other rubber material affect health very seriously. As we have reviewed it in the literature section that these chemicals affect the employees’ health.  In order to be protected very important measures needs to be taken while handling them. According to the administrator that,

“all these chemicals have serious impact on the health, we received a training from one of the international NGO’s and they warned us that the chemicals and rubber that we are exposed with have serious implications on health such as it cause eyes irritation, cancer, lungs failure and problems associated with respiration…” 

However these chemicals have various negative health implications, which are discussed above. That many of the workers had heart problems, ear drum damage, lungs failure and major skin allergies from the chemicals. The exposure towards the chemicals daily for about 10 hours is the major cause. The damage seem much more however no such studies has been conducted in order to see that what effects does the workers have on their health. The high level damages are serious concerns for the government of china and concerned authorities.

4.3.5. Working Hours

The question regarding the working hours was asked from the respondents, most of the factory working answered that the normal working hours are 10 hours a day, however the administrators answered that due to the work pressure they have to do few extra hours. The managers all together denied that they are forcing the employees to do overtime and not even compensating them.

One of the factory workers answered that;

“I know that I have to work for 8 hours a day but I work for 10 hours daily as they (management) ask us to come for the morning meeting half an hour before the working time, then when we finish they force us to complete the number of orders as the administrator mentions in the morning meeting, therefore it most of the time takes almost two hours extra daily extra work…”

Similarly, another respondent said that,

“Besides the morning meeting we were even asks to clean up the floor of the workshop….”

This interview clearly indicates that the management forces the workers for overtime and also do not compensate them even. The factory workers work for 10 hours on average and also the company forces them to do so. The major problem is that the managers’ answers were clear divergence from what the factory workers said. The human resource department has no issues in letting the workers for overtime and sometime pressurizing them even. However, the administrators’ answers revealed that they are concern but they can’t do anything as whatever the management asks for they have to do accordingly.

The administrator answered working hours as,

“We have worked over load, all we have to do is to complete it, by any means the options we left is to work and work and more the management at the end of the day how much production took place they are not concerned how?”

The answer is a clear indication that the company workers are being forced to meet the demand of the day. However this long working hours has affected the health of the workers really very seriously. The company workers suffer from various health problems. As the company also do not compensate the worker for medical. However, the Chinese law according to the article 51 clearly indicate that the company has to compensate the workers if an accident takes place while working and if any if any other such issue arises during working in the factory.

The findings reveal that the workers laws are not being followed by the company and therefore the workers conditions are deteriorating in the company. The findings also suggest the labor unions are not actually represents the workers. They have not kept any demands for them in front of the management of the company. Therefore, no incremental improvement has been observed in their working conditions.

4.3.6.Wage Rate and Remuneration

Chinese labour law strictly abides the company that at the rate of 150% of basic hourly rate the company is to pay the worker forever time. However, in the Yue Yuen Company no such policy exists. As discussed above the workers are not being paid for overtime as they are on average working 2 more hours from the prescribed time of working.

As one of the respondent said that,

“The management use to call half an hour before the factory work starts, for meeting …”

As it is clear that the workers are not working for 8 hours in the factory they are working for more than 8 hours daily. In such instances it is due right of the labour to call for actions from the government. The government negligence is no doubt the major factor of all these issues. Besides this when the workers are asked about the wage rate they were not satisfied with that as well. As they are of view that they are working under such tough routine but they are not paid accordingly.

One of them responded that,

“I have been here for 10 years almost now that are not making me permanent employee of the company as they have to pay me extra benefits… the company is trying to delay my benefits as much as they can… they don’t even care that we have been for so long and served them of my best but they don’t value us….”

The respondents review clearly indicates that they are not being treated equal. They are taking all initiatives in order to undermine the due rights of the employees. In such instance we are repeatedly insisting that company needs to be strictly checked from the concerned authorities such as international labour organizations, Chinese labour laws and by the Chinese government to give the due rights of the employees of Yue Yuen Company.

4.3.7.Trainings Regarding the Health and Safety

When questions regarding the training were ask the factory workers seemed really unaware. Few of amongst them answered that few Non-government organizations conducted certain sessions but all of the factory workers were not involved. As one of the respondent said:

“Once an NGO has conducted a training session but only few of the employees were got a chance to attend that session….”

The respondents answer majority revealed that no such training were conducted and no awareness sessions were conducted in order to educate them that how important is to have protecting clothing while working in the factory. The gloves, goggles and helmets help them to protect from hazardous chemicals and also from accidents. Company should conduct such awareness sessions that will help them to protect themselves. As already been discussed the company negligence in providing the factory workers with the protected clothing is very much important.

The training sessions help them to get aware that safety precautions are for the best interest of the employees. As one of the respondent answer the question that

We are not been provided with the protective clothing’s what is a use of getting training of it….”

The administrator also seemed complaining that the company will first ensure that all the employees have the protected clothing then they should work on the training session and all. The training sessions will only be fruitful when the employees have all the equipment’s. This facilitate them that how to use all the concerned equipment’s without doing any trial and error method. The company needs to be skilled in handling any such equipment’s. However it is an important aspect of developing the human resource of any organization. The skilled labor is an asset to the company. The company needs to only work on their development through ensuring their safety and protection rights.

The company managers have indicated several training sessions that is conducted by the company. However the workers have not showed any consensus regarding the training issues. The workers seemed more uninterested as mainly because they thought that this is not a big issue. However, other issues are much more prominent for the workers.

4.4.Discussion

The present study gives an insight that how one of the leading Companies has neglected the occupational health and safety concerns of their employees. The Yue Yuen Company is one of the largest sports manufacturing company of the world where it manufacture high quality branded products. But the company’s factory situation is much worse than any one can predict. With the increase in labour laws and safety and health precautionary measures, companies like Yue Yuen in order to increase its profit margin are not fulfilling the laws. The company negligence can be observed from the above discussion where the employees were found completely neglected. Similarly the government seems also less concerned with the issues of the workers in the company. The role of labor unions is also analyzed but no any constructive measure has been taken from them. The unions fail to truly represent the problems of the coworkers and they take the issue to the management of the organization in order to solve it.

The company has neglected completely the rules of occupational health and safety measures. The company management seems not interested in implementing these policies while the working class suffers the most. The factory workers are working in much miserable conditions, the halls are congested where in a single hall many workers are working, the congested space has are not proper ventilation further increase the difficulty level. In peak seasons such as in June and July the scotching heat at one hand on the other hand the mobbed working place make the situation worse. Similarly, the protected clothing is other major criteria of safety and health regulations the company once in while provide the workers the protected clothing. The analysis revealed that the workers are not wearing any kind of protective clothing during working in the company or few of them are using these protections but they usually are in worst conditions. In such conditions the workers of the factory are therefore, suffering from different diseases such as skin allergies, heart problem, lungs, stress, resulting in high blood pressure and respiration problems. These diseases are the most common diseases that are found in the factory workers. The major causes of them are the chemicals used in manufacturing process in the industry and the company has no such clean working environment.

In addition beside this the company is also not focusing on the working hours, on average the company workers are working for 12 to 15 hours normally without the overtime payment. The tough and heavy duties are main cause of stress of the company workers. The tough working conditions lead to stress full situation for the workers. This stress results in high blood pressure and also due to fatigue the workers gets fainted. It is observed that on average especially during the summer season 2 to 3 people daily gets fainted. This shows that the company provision of bad working environment for the employees.

In the company no training sessions for the employee development and making them aware of the safety culture and occupational health issues takes place. Such training sessions are considered as an important part of occupational health and safety issues, because these trainings helps them to learn about how to protect themselves and what are their due rights. However, according to the law full training should be institutionalized in the company which includes safety trainings such as fire or any natural disaster comes the training regarding emergency preparedness. How to handle if any emergency comes how should they protect them in such conditions. Similarly the handling of machinery of the factory in order to safety use them, however another major concern is handling the chemical and hazards. In order to handle these things in the factory many precautionary measures needs to be taken. Beside these the seminars regarding health issues should also be conducted.

The company should properly train their employees that how carefully to handle such products of the chemical. Company has not taken the issue of safety and health of their workers. Our analysis revealed that the company’s due negligence in order to give favourable working conditions of their employees has fully been ignored.

Our findings regarding the Yue Yuen Company reveal that the company has completely ignored the occupational health and safety criterion of any business. Company negligence can be seen in all the sectors of the factory, the congestion in the halls, and similarly high chemical usage in the factory without ensuring that the workers are dressed in protected clothing, overtime, work overload and high working hours. Beside all these basic medical facilities are even not available for the workers of the factory. Such deteriorating working conditions of the workers needs a due attention from the Chinese government and international labour organizations. Companies such as Yue Yuen are a high profile brand manufacturers need to be made accountable for the provision of such conditions.

In order to improve the health and safety issues of the company, the government role is very crucial however the role of international labour organizations, labour unions and companies like Nike and Adidas the regular contractors of Yue Yuen Company. The government of china needs to ascertain that all its laws are being implemented by the companies (Hudson, 2000). The government needs to take strenuous steps in order to make sure that the companies to follow the law. Chinese government should work on this issue this otherwise creates a negative perception for the investors in Chinese firms. The Chinese economy is booming only it will sustain when the government provide all the associated provisions to the companies and their workers (Pie, 2005). Government has neglected the issue therefore the condition of the workers has been so miserable. Government initiatives can make sure the company to strictly follow the rules of protection and guarantee that all employees are getting their due rights and protections (Wenting, 2011).

Another major stakeholder is the international labour organizations, they are known as the true representatives of the labours around the work. International labour organizations (ILO) work for the rights of the workers, and here in Yue Yuen Company there is a need of such representatives. The ILO needs to raise the issue of the employees of the Yue Yuen Company and also highlights all the concern issues of their health and safety. ILO consideration and its recommendations are considered as one of the greatest options for the employees. The ILO needs to ascertain that the labours are getting their due rights and also ensure that the company is facilitating them with the safety and health measures. Otherwise the ILO should take steps regarding the right of the Yue Yuen Company workers.

With the ILO the china’s labour unions are another aspect that can be source of providing health and safety measures to the Yue Yuen Company. The labour unions are considered are the representatives of the workers but the Chinese government has but laws that restrict the labour unions with decisions on collective bargaining. Therefore, in China the labour unions are not considered as strong. The unions are abiding of rules from the law and the companies usually do not listen to them and therefore they do whatever is in best interest of the company.

Finally we also believe that companies like Nike and Adidas which are the frequent and largest contractors of the Yue Yuen Company. They can ensure that the company is following rules regarding the occupational health and safety issues in the Yue Yuen Company. However these companies are also incorporating a better image amongst their customers’ worldwide. Such labour issues can also damage their image amongst their customers (Oliver et. al., 2009). Therefore these companies need to ensure that if they are contracting any company in manufacturing their products. They should strictly follow by the rules and regulations of health and safety concerns of their workers. With increase in awareness around the world about the due rights of the workers in the world, therefore, it is necessary for brands like Nike and Adidas to keep their image amongst their customers that they value the rights of workers and environment. The increasing awareness amongst the customers keeps companies to full fill all the rights of the workers or elsewise serious consequences such companies will bear in the form of customers’ evidence in buying those products and high penalty amount from the government.

The Yue Yuen Company is a large manufacturing company and in order to sustain its better positions in the international market they should take strenuous efforts for the development of their work force. They need to ensure better work place and protection from hazardous chemicals and waste of the company that affect its employees’ health and are threat for their safety. Otherwise the company will face serious consequences from the international market and the government in near future.

4.5.Summary

The findings reveal the working conditions of the employees of the sports industry. The conditions seem to be more miserable and unaccepted. The health and safety issues of the workers seem at no were. The management was concerned on the production of the products not to the working conditions of the employees. The employees on the other hand were not even aware of their due rights which were also a great concern. Here the role of labour unions seems very important, as they can guide and aware the employees of their due rights which were prescribed by the law of the country. Furthermore, the government silence also is an alarming situation there should be another study prescribing to the role of government and needs to highlight that why the government is so silent in such situations.

As we have discuss it earlier the government and other governing bodies of the companies needs to considered the safety and health rights of employees in the Chinese sports industry. Otherwise the situation will be worsening day by day.

 

 

5.Chapter Five: Conclusion and Recommendations    

5.1. Summary of Findings

The changing pace of business environment and its way of practices around the globe, organizations consider human resource as one of the important aspect of any organization. From the above study it has been observed that many multinational companies however do not take into account the importance of human resource in their organizations. These organizations are negligent in order to assure legitimate safety practice for their employees in the organization. Our study has identified that Yue Yuen Company has completely neglected the safety and health practices in their company. The company workers have demonstrated their concern however no serious steps has been taken in order to improve the working conditions within the factory premises.

There is a great need of steps taken from the government and world labor organizations in order to assure that all practices within the company is being practiced. The Chinese government role is very important as the findings suggest that the government has never taken any kind serious actions for the development of the workers life in Yue Yuen Company (Pei, 2005). However, company is considered as one of the major largest producers amongst the footwear industry. The government in order to promote industrialization needs to ensure that the world practices are being followed with in the company.

Similarly, many high profile companies such as Nike and Adidas are the customers of Yue Yuen Company, these company’s needs to understand that they Yue Yuen practices will malign their reputation amongst their customers. Such practices will affect them in the market and also reduce their sales in future as many competitors exist in the market (Shwartz, 2015). Therefore, these companies should also their concern to the executive level about all the health and safety concerns of the labor force in the company (Oliver et al., 2009)

These problems have affected many of the workforce in the company and it needs to stopped otherwise the problem will never end. The problem needs to be raised at the top level from the labor unions and also the concerns needs to be solved as soon as possible. The health concerns according to our analysis are at a very critical and serious stag. The company needs to understand it otherwise all the concern and associated legitimate power should pursue their rights for the workers of Yue Yuen Company.

5.2.Fulfilment of research objectives

In this research, it can be concluded that the research objectives are effectively achieved. The first objective was to review the current literature in order to understand the organizational structure of the manufacturing company’s health and safety issues. This objective is successfully accomplished in the second chapter of this research where various previous studies of the literature are critically analysed. The second objective was to analyse the health and safety management policy of the company with admiration of the workforce of the factory. With the case study research method, this objective is accomplished successfully. In the findings and analysis chapter, healthy and safety management of selected case organization i.e. Yue Yuen factory is analysed. The third objective was to recommend certain health and safety enhancement methods through the present case studies of Yue Yuen factory.  This objective is also accomplished where recommendations are provided in the last chapter for the company.

5.3.Recommendations for Health and Safety

Business practices have changed much around the globe in every aspect. As our current study is on the Health and safety issues in the Yue Yuen sport company in China, we have observed many mal practices in the company regarding the health and safety concerns of the work force. From the finding it has been observed that Company lacks these practices and there is a great need of fundamental steps for the development of the work force of Yue Yuen Company.

In order to improve the working conditions in the factory the foremost importance is of Chinese Government, the government needs to observe the company strictly that they should follow all the laws prescribed in the Chinese constitution for the work force in the company. Not only this regular and routine rounds needs to be taken in order to ensure that all the practices are being observed within the company. The government should bring in the work force in to its confidence that they can approach them at any case it these practices are not being observed such as if the company is not providing health and safety equipment’s, if they are not paying for overtime or forcing for overtime (Gallagher.et. al., 2001; Pie, 2005). The government should also penalize the company for not following the law for the workers.

We also suggest that for the protection of work force health and safety concern other major players should also show their concern for the workers of the factory. The deteriorating health conditions of the workers should not be taken in to for granted. The international labor organization should also use their legitimate power for the betterment of the factory workers of the Yue Yen Company. The NGO’s those working for labour rights are another important aspect in this regard they can increase their training and awareness sessions in order to aware the workers that what are their due rights. The unawareness amongst the employees further exaggerates this problem. The labour force should know what actual their rights are. The negligence amongst the workers and labour unions let company to do whatever they want to.

Finally the labour Unions needs to be strengthen as they are amongst those workers if the labor Unions were involved in the decision making process of the company regarding the work force it will help in highlighting the issues and problems of the workers in the company. Thus if such issues were solved it will help in bringing in more healthy work environment also improvers workers and management relation and increase overall productivity.

5.4.Limitations and Future Research Directions 

The present research possesses certain limitations, as China is considered as one of the largest manufacturing country. The following research focuses only on the sports industry and we have focused on one of the largest manufacturer of sports good Yue Yuen Company. However there are many other factories that are also manufacturing sports goods. We should also analyse the data from these factories, as to ascertain that weather all the companies of sports goods manufacturers are having same problem of health and safety concerns for their workers. However, due to time limitation in this study it has been not been done whereas, in the future studies this aspect needs to be considered. While collecting the data all these companies should be included in the sample size for further analysis.

Another setback in the following study was that no company records and government agencies have been administered. Such records will help us to identify the other side of the picture. However, we tried to approach the top level management for seeking answers of our concern but the company has not given any such help to record the point of view of the top level management. For further studies this approach needs to be considered as it will help in establishing a more comprehensive approach regarding the current problem.

It’s also a legitimate fact that there are other issues that force the labors not to raise their voice against the company. For instance the high level of unemployment in the country gives edge to the companies to have greater options for employees. Similarly, as discussed above the government negligence in this regards needs to be better studied. Therefore, it is necessary that it should be answered that what are the associated problems that government is unable to take any kind of strenuous steps to solve this issue. Furthermore, all these multinational companies whom are regular customers are also asked for their view about this issue. All this aspects needs to be analyzed for gaining insight into the associated problem of the workforce of the sports industry in China.

The grooming business in china brings prosperity in the country at one hand however it is also very essential that all what the country gets is from the hard core toil of the workforce of the country. Therefore, it is of utmost important that they should be provided with all the available facilities in order to protect their health and take all measure for their protection and safety.

 

 

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Appendices

Appendix 1: Interview questions

The interview questions are as follows:

Interview Questions

Name, gender, educational back ground?

Where did you come from?

What is your recent Position In the factory?

How much is your experience?

Have you worked in any other organization before?

Are you satisfied from the working conditions?

Do you know about the policies regarding the organizational health and safety conducts?

What you know about the labor laws of China? Collective bargaining, child labor prohibition, wage rates lead time etc.

Have you ever received/conducted any of the training regarding organizational health and safety precautions?

Do company gives you protected clothing while working in the factory?

How often you have been checked that you are wearing the protective clothing while working?

Do you know that how does these chemicals can affect your health? Do you received/conducted any training or awareness sessions?

What are the standard working hours in the factory? What amount is paid for overtime?

What would you do if someone called and said there had been a serious accident at our facility? Does the company have any medical health facility if any accident takes place?

 

Appendix 2: Transcript

Transcription of Interviews conducted

1St Interview:

The interview was conducted one of the labor working in the factory. Before starting the formal interview the labor in order to get acquainted discuss few general topics. After 3-5 minute of this session then we have started the formal interview for him.

Response From labor:

Interview Question 1: your name age, gender educational background?

The labor was when asked about his name he was reluctant in answering it therefore he was not further pressurized in order to tell his name. I am 24 years old male. I just received primary education from the government institutions of our village. I have left my education because I have to start earning and support my family.

Interview Question 2: Where did you come from?

I came from a small village from the North of China

Interview Question 3: What is your recent Position In the factory?

I am working as a labor here, involved in making number of sport goods and also some time I was appointed to other departments such as leather, painting.

Interview Question 4: How much is your experience?

I am working in the Yue Yuen factory from past five years almost, in the same position. Because of the unavailability of jobs and poor farming conditions of area I moved here to earn and feed my family.

Interview Question 5: Have you worked in any other organization before?

Yes before the Yue Yuen factory I was in another factory (the name of the company is not added here) that factory also used to manufacture the same sports good.

Why did you left that factory?

The company installed new machinery and then company required lesser number of the labor force then before. I was amongst the 100 of unlucky workers who has to left from that factory. But thanks to God soon afterwards due to a friend I got a job in this factory.

Interview Question 6: Are you satisfied from the work place conditions?

Yes the good part is I have number of friends out here but the conditions are not very satisfying. The machinery used in the factory it is noisy and the place very dirty and congested. But if we need to work and earn we don’t have to argue regarding all of this issues.

Interview Question 7: Do you know about the policies regarding the occupational health and safety conducts?

No not much, one of the workers uses to talk about it but it’s impossible in the factory to manifest all the following policies as the company would not spend much to facilities. Although I have heard that many multinational corporation are following policies and their workers are receiving so many benefits. Here working conditions are very difficult to cope with.

Interview Question 8: What you know about the labor laws of China? Collective bargaining, child labor prohibition, wage rates lead time etc.

Labor law yes we do know about it but what we have to do with it. We are not allowed to raise voice; the union will do on our behalf’s though we were never asked that what associated problems in the factory are. The country is not enforcing its laws properly that what I know, I can’t specifically tell you what the laws are. All I am concerned with the job which is paying me against my hard work.

Interview Question 9: Have you ever received any of the training regarding organizational health and safety precautions?

No I haven’t received any of such training. Once an NGO has conducted a training session but only few of the employees were got a chance to attend that session and I was not amongst them.

Interview Question 10: Do company gives you protected clothing while working in the factory?

No only we have the protective gloves and masks when we work with stuffs like leather, painting and other chemicals. We don’t use aprons and all though these gloves and masks are now needed to be changed as they were not changed since last few months. Some time I feel that know these gloves are not protecting my hands, because when finishing work my hands get very allergic and they use to burn a lot.

Interview Question 11: How often you have been checked that you are wearing the protective clothing while working?

Not often, only some time when the managers think that any out sider or government agency is visiting the factory. Only then they come and check that we have the gloves and masks. That is the time they usually give us any of the protective wearing.

Interview Question 12: Are you aware that how does these chemicals can affect your health?

Yes I am aware because I am working here from last five years I have seen many incidents that has affected many of my coworkers. Most of us gets seriously injured sometimes, one of our coworker got its fingered cut while operating a machine, similarly standing for two longs always cause our legs so much swollen. The water we use for cleaning leather has high amount of cyclohexanone causes us to fatigue, cold limbs and high sweating.

Interview Question 13: What are the standard working hours in the factory? What amount is paid for overtime?

We are hired on working 12 hours a day but most of the time it leads to 15 hours because of high work load and managers pressure to pursue work.

Interview Question 14: What would you do if someone called and said there had been a serious accident in the factory? Does the company has any medical health facility if any accident take place? Fire extinguisher?

The factory health facility is not of any standard. Most of the time the factory workers fall down from fatigue, low blood pressure, especially in summer because of the hot weather and lesser facilities inside the factory. The medical center lacks medicine and equipment’s and therefore we are most of the time recommended to go to government hospitals for the treatment.

2nd Interview:

The interview was conducted one of the administrator working in the factory.

Response from Administrator:

Interview Question 1: your name age, gender educational background?

I am Wen Jiabao (male) and I am of 45 year old. I have completed by primary school degree from the Beijing.

Interview Question 2: Where did you come from?

I belong from Beijing.

Interview Question 3: What is your recent Position In the factory?

I work as a senior administrator in the Dongguan shoe factory.

Interview Question 4: How much is your experience?

I am working in the Yue Yuen Company from past 19 years. I have started working as a supervisor of the factor then gradually promoted to be the senior administrator of the Yue Yuen Dongguan factor and I am in Dongguan factor from last 7 years.

Interview Question 5: Have you worked in any other organization before?

Yes, after my primary education there were no many jobs because only few factories were operating, I started working in a steel Mill in Beijing for about three years. Then I moved here to Yue Yuen Company.

Interview Question 6: Are you satisfied from the work place conditions?

The company working conditions are tough, with increase in businesses and now china is hosting many international brands. The working conditions get a bit improved though not at that level which it should be. The time we started working the conditions were very rough but know due to government and unions’ pressure there is much improvement in them. But I think that there is still unawareness amongst the worker. They belong from far flung and rural areas of china. They do not their actual rights and also no one also supports them in order to educate them.

Interview Question 7: Do you know about the policies regarding the occupational health and safety conducts?

Yes I know about it and I have read about it. The measures taken in order to protect the employees and all the work force, but what is the use of asking it when they are not being implemented.

Interview Question 8: What you know about the labor laws of China? Collective bargaining, child labor prohibition, wage rates lead time etc.

I don’t know the exact percentages of the wage rate and all. But I know that Chinese Government initiatives regarding the labor and health and safety law. But the bigger argument is that they are not being implemented. Number of injuries that I administer in my factory the company takes no or very little constructive measures in this regard. Child labor is controlled on the factory, we do not allow any child to work here. The wage rate and timings are not according to the law. We are not paid extra on overtime neither any rule to close the factory after 8 hours. As an administrator it is my role but I have been pressurized by the managers to achieve the set target and I can’t to any think.

Interview Question 9: Have you ever received any of the training regarding organizational health and safety precautions?

No never in my 19 year of experience I have never gone through any of training. Yeah quit a few times NGO’s conduct certain such sessions but I was not amongst the trainees, since last time one of the labor right associations has visited our company and gave brief overview about the health and safety concerns. Further for training I nominated few of the workers.

Interview Question 10: Do company gives you protected clothing while working in the factory?

Yes we give workers gloves and masks while they work. But recently I have heard complaints regarding that. Therefore, I informed the management in order to resolve this issue. Because, many of my workers had skin allergies and other health issues are increasing and I believe they are because of the chemicals that they are working with.

Interview Question 11: How often you have been checked that you are wearing the protective clothing while working?

This is my duty to administer these issues, but most of the time due to high pressure of work and other issues this has been ignored. Another problem I don’t ask the workers to work with protected clothing’s then they usually demand for better and more which the management does not listen too. So it is better to ignore it!

Interview Question 12: Are you aware that how does these chemicals can affect your health?

Yes I am but we can’t do anything. If we have to earn we have to cope with these issues. The issue is very complicated I know, due to the chemicals it has affected my health much which I recognize know but to whom should we talk about. All we can do is work and ask for nothing.

Interview Question 13: What are the standard working hours in the factory? What amount is paid for overtime?

The standard working hours of the factory is 8 Hours as due to the pressure from the work we usually stay in the factory for about 12 to 13 hours which is considered normal. The overtime rate is 150% of basic hourly salary. We are administrating accordingly if an employee works more than 8 hours we pay them overtime.

Interview Question 14: What would you do if someone called and said there had been a serious accident the factory? Does the company have any medical health facility if any accident takes place? Fire extinguisher?

Yes the factory has medical center, it has basic health facilities not more than that. Usually the accident take places we refer them to any other Hospital. We have always asked for better medical and health facility but the management do not listen to. There are numerous accidents that account serious injuries to our employees but the company management initiatives are very little and not of much use. Besides the basic facilities the medical center lacks nursing staff only a single doctor who caters any such issue.

3nd Interview:

The interview was conducted from one of the manager working in the factory.

Response from Manager:

Interview Question 1: your name age, gender educational background?

I am Bao Chun (female), 35 years old. I have completed my Master’s degree in management sciences from the School of Economics and Management of Tsinghua University.

Interview Question 2: here did you come from?

I belong from Guangzhou city.

Interview Question 3: What is your recent position In the factory?

I work as a Human resource manager of Yue Yuen Company.

Interview Question 4: How much is your experience?

I have 6 years of experience here in this company.

Interview Question 5: Have you worked in any other organization before?

Yes I have been to another company before I got a job here.

Interview Question 6: Are you satisfied from the work place conditions?

Yea we administer quit favorable condition for our workers here and I am amongst them yes I am satisfied from the overall conditions of working here.

Interview Question 7: Do you know about the policies regarding the occupational health and safety conducts?

Yes I do know about them. Occupational and health and safety is the basic right of any worker. The company takes strict action in order to work for the factory workers. We therefore ensure that the workers are protected from hazardous chemical releases and from other such dangerous concerns.

Interview Question 8: What you know about the labor laws of China? Collective bargaining, child labor prohibition, wage rates lead time etc.

The labor laws of china offer a great leverage to the worker, the law strictly provides better working environment, health facilities and also fixed the working time accompanied with the certain contracts of expelling employees from the organization without any cost. And specify the wage rate of employees at each level.

Interview Question 9: Have you ever conducted any of the training regarding organizational health and safety precautions?

We try to do such sessions but due to the tight budgets we are really become incapable of conducting sessions on routine basis. But or department tries to do small awareness sessions for the employees in order to make them aware of their rights. Though we are planning that a more comprehensive training should be conducted in order to aware them that how does these chemicals can affect the workers’ health and how they can protect themselves.

Recently we are planning to do a demonstrating that what should be done if any accident takes place while working, what are the necessary first aid measures. We try to work for the employees’ wellbeing and their development.

Interview Question 10: Do you give protected clothing to workers in the factory?

Yes we do give protected cloths, gloves, goggles, belts and helmets. We also make sure that the employees should use them. Everywhere in the factory banners and signs of danger has been displayed in order to make sure that the employees should ensure their protection before conducting any activity. These protective clothing if damaged are also replaced very frequently by the factory.

Interview Question 11: How often you have checked that your employees are wearing the protective clothing while working?

We frequently do that from the human resource department and the manager and administer of the factory usually do this on frequent basis.

Interview Question 12: Are you aware that how does these chemicals can affect your employees’ health?

Yes we are aware that how these chemicals can effect therefore we ensure that he employees should use protective clothing before doing any activity of business.

Interview Question 14: What would you do if someone called and said there had been a serious accident in the factory? Does the company have any medical health facility? Fire extinguisher?

Yes the company has health care center and if any such incident takes place we take them to the health care unit. The company has fire extinguishers if any such situation arises.

Appendix 3: Tutorial sheets

 

 

 

 


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