Microsoft peripheral manufacturers treated like slaves

Posted: March 9, 2011 in China
Tags: , , , , , ,

Workers at the KYE Factory in Dongguan taking their break

Last April the National Labor Committee conducted an investigation into conditions at the KYE Systems factory in Dongguan. This factory manufactures computer and Xbox peripherals for Microsoft. Darn it I’ve seen that red packaging on store shelves myself.

Get a load of the conditions under which they were made:

  • workers as young as 14 or 15 on “summer work experience”
  • Shifts of up to 15 hours
  • Workplace temperature up to 86F
  • In one case, being fined for having a workplace injury!

In response to the report, Microsoft promised to ‘investigate’. As far as I can see, no meaningful action has since been taken.

Read the full report:

Other companies who have goods manufactured in this factory include HPBest BuySamsungAcer and Logitech.

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Comments
  1. Tom says:

    Oh how I wish this was news. Unfortunately in virtually every Chinese factory you will find the same conditions.
    It is also regular practice for Chinese companies to stage inspections, since so many western companies are aware of the backlash caused by these kinds of conditions. At this point it seems like something the Chinese gov’t needs to get serious about, because without their efforts western companies don’t have a chance of enforcing good labor practices.

    • Thanks Tom. I’m not sure I’d make such a bleak assessment. Suppose we were to substitute “labour standards” with “product quality”. Western companies seem capable of bringing about improvements in that area (e.g. Mattel 2007).
      I think the best thing China’s government could do for the situation is allow free trade unions!

  2. […] April 2010, the Institute for Global Labour & Human Rights published a report on conditions in the factory finding that the young workers from inland China were […]

  3. […] Consider the IGLHR report into the KYE Systems factory, maker of Microsoft peripherals (which I covered here). The only options for a local partner are the Chinese state union or unrecognised local NGOs whose […]

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