I was really shocked by this report on the work conditions in KYE Systems factory in china. A factory which is working for famous brands like Microsoft, making its mouses and webcams. Here are some of the main facts from the Executive summary:
- In 2007 and 2008, before the worldwide recession, workers were at the factory 97 hours a week while working 80 1⁄2 hours.
- Workers are paid 65 cents an hour, which falls to a take-home wage of 52 cents after deductions for factory food.
- Workers are prohibited from talking, listening to music or using the bathroom during working hours. As punishment, workers who make mistakes are made to clean the bathrooms.
- Etc. Etc.
Furthermore, the report says that “Microsoft’s and other companies’ codes of conduct have zero impact.” In a previous post I was mentionning manufacturers social responsibility and was praising Apple’s example. Code of conducts are all very nice but I believe all manufacturers should do some audits! Not doing so is just an encouragement to such misbehaviours.
But the real question is “are consumers ready to pay a premium for brand abiding work laws or to boycott wrongdoing brands?”…
The full report: Chinas_Youth_Meet_Micro