' PRISON-LIKE ' CONDITIONS FOR HP WORKERS IN CHINA ?

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' PRISON-LIKE ' CONDITIONS FOR HP WORKERS IN CHINA ?

 user 2009-02-17 at 11:42:50 am Views: 60
  • #21713
    http://www.computerweekly.com/Articles/2009/02/17/234866/prison-like-conditions-for-workers-making-ibm-dell-hp-microsoft-and-lenovo.htm
    ‘Prison-like’ conditions for workers making IBM, Dell, HP, Microsoft and Lenovo products
    Chinese
    factory workers are working in prison-like conditions for 41 cents an
    hour to make computer parts for IBM, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo
    and Dell, a report claims.US organisation the National Labour Committee
    (NLC) found 2,000 workers at the Meitai factory work an average of 74
    hours a week, for a base wage of 64 cents an hour. This drops to 41
    cents an hour after room and board is removed.The workers, mostly young
    women aged from 18 to their mid-20s, are not allowed to talk, listen to
    music, look around them, put their hands in their pockets, or go to the
    toilet unless it is an official break.Workers are encouraged to monitor
    each other and are fined if they break rules. These include being one
    minute late for a shift or putting personal items on a work desk.On the
    assembly line, a keyboard passes each worker every 7.2 seconds. The
    worker has to snap six or seven keys into place in that time.

    Prison sentence
    The
    NLC visited the factory between June and September 2009 and in January
    this year. One worker said, “I feel like I am serving a prison
    sentence. We are really livestock and should not be called workers.”The
    Meitai Plastics and Electronics factory in Dongguan City, Guangdong
    Province, China, makes keyboards and other equipment for Dell, HP, IBM,
    Microsoft, and Lenovo.The companies said they would investigate
    conditions at the factory but none said they would cancel contracts
    linked to the factory.Microsoft said the factory supplies one of its
    contracted manufacturers. A spokesperson said, “We are working closely
    with our industry partners and contracted supplier to conduct an
    investigation and make any necessary improvements to comply with all
    guidelines and regulations.”

    Actively investigating
    Lenovo
    also said it does not deal directly with the factory, which has links
    with one of its suppliers. The company said the factory will be audited
    by the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition. It also said its
    supplier would be investigating the factory.A spokesperson for
    HP said, “The factory named in the report is not one of HP’s direct
    suppliers, but is a supplier to two of our suppliers. HP will audit
    this facility through a validated industry audit. This will be
    conducted promptly by a third-party audit firm on behalf of the
    Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition. Based on the results of the
    audit, we will work together with our supplier to develop corrective
    actions where appropriate.”Dell said it was “actively investigating”
    the issues in the report. A spokesperson said, “I can tell you that any
    reports of poor working conditions in Dell’s supply chain are
    investigated and appropriate action is taken.”Charles
    Kernaghan, report author and director at the NLC, said, “The $200
    personal computer and the $22.99 keyboard may be seen as a great
    bargain, but in the long run they come at a terrible cost.”"Through the
    (Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), of which IBM is a
    founding member, a joint-audit is being conducted to assemble the facts
    and address this issue with the supplier/or suppliers involved.