This is one that perhaps slipped through the cracks during the Christmas season, via the Seattle Times, to be filed under, “Surprise, Surprise, Chapter MXCVVLXX”:
A labor-rights group alleged Tuesday that crucifixes sold in religious gift shops in the United States are produced under “horrific” conditions in a Chinese factory with more than 15-hour workdays and inadequate food. Charles Kernaghan, director of the National Labor Committee, held a news conference to call attention to conditions at a factory in Dongguan, a southern Chinese city near Hong Kong, where he said crosses sold at historic New York churches and elsewhere are made.
Spokespeople for St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Episcopal Trinity Church said the churches had removed dozens of crucifixes from their shops while they investigate the claims. While none of the crucifixes sold in New York were identified as made in China, they bore serial numbers matching products made at the factory in question, Kernaghan said.
St. Patrick’s and Trinity bought the crosses from Singer, a religious-goods company in Mount Vernon. Co-owner Gerald Singer said the objects were purchased through a Chinese manufacturer, Full Start.
“Whether they came out of a sweatshop, we do not know,” Singer said.
A man at the Full Start factory in Dongguan said the allegations were “totally incorrect.”