The image Microsoft doesn't want you to see: Too tired to stay awake, the Chinese workers earning just 34p an hour

vbimport

#1

Original url: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1266643/Microsofts-Chinese-workforce-tired-stay-awake.html

Showing Chinese sweatshop workers slumped over their desks with exhaustion, it is an image that Microsoft won’t want the world to see.

Employed for gruelling 15-hour shifts, in appalling conditions and 86f heat, many fall asleep on their stations during their meagre ten-minute breaks.

For as little as 34p an hour, the men and women work six or seven days a week, making computer mice and web cams for the American multinational computer company.

This photo and others like it were smuggled out of the KYE Systems factory at Dongguan, China, as part of a three-year investigation by the National Labour Committee, a human rights organisation which campaigns for workers across the globe.

The mostly female workers, aged 18 to 25, work from 7.45am to 10.55pm, sometimes with 1,000 workers crammed into one 105ft by 105ft room.

They are not allowed to talk or listen to music, are forced to eat substandard meals from the factory cafeterias, have no bathroom breaks during their shifts and must clean the toilets as discipline, according to the NLC.

The workers also sleep on site, in factory dormitories, with 14 workers to a room. They must buy their own mattresses and bedding, or else sleep on 28in-wide plywood boards. They ‘shower’ with a sponge and a bucket.

And many of the workers, because they are young women, are regularly sexually harassed, the NLC claimed.

The organisation said that one worker was even fined for losing his finger while operating a hole punch press.

Microsoft is not the only company to outsource manufacturing to KYE, but it accounts for about 30 per cent of the factory’s work, the NLC said. Companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Samsung, Foxconn, Acer, Logitech and Asus also use KYE Systems.

Microsoft, which exports much of the hardware made at the factory to America, Europe and Japan, said that it is taking the claims seriously and has begun an investigation.
One employee told the NLC: ‘We are like prisoners. It seems like we live only to work - we do not work to live. We do not live a life, only work.’
The NLC’s report included an account from one worker whose job consisted entirely of sticking selfadhesive rubber feet to the bottom of Microsoft computer mice.
But the monotony of sitting or standing for 12 hours, applying foot after foot to mouse after mouse, was not the worst of the worker’s testimony.
It was the militaristic management and sleep deprivation that affected the worker most. ‘I know I can choose not to work overtime, but if I don’t work overtime then I am stuck with only 770 Chinese yuan (£72.77p) per month in basic wages,’ the worker said.
'This is not nearly enough to support a family. My parents are farmers without jobs. They also do not have pensions.
'I also need to worry about getting married, which requires a lot of money. Therefore, I still push myself to continue working in spite of my exhaustion.
‘When I finish my four hours of overtime, I’m extremely tired. At that time, even if someone offered me an extravagant dinner, I’d probably refuse. I just want to sleep.’
Charles Kernaghan, executive director of the NLC, said: ‘It sounded like torture - the frantic pace on the assembly line, same motion over and over for the 12 hours or more of work they did.’
Microsoft said it was committed to the ‘fair treatment and safety of workers’. A spokesman added: 'We are aware of the NLC report and we have commenced an investigation.

‘We take these claims seriously and we will take appropriate remedial measures in regard to any findings of misconduct.’


#2

I’m going to put in my 2 cents . This is my answer as an American. Sometimes I have little choice about purchasing an item “Made in China” or any other country that allows [B]Slave Labor[/B]. The only choice is to do without the item. That being said.
The US government shouldn’t allow any products to be imported from a country that uses [B]Slave Labor[/B]. Even if a certain product isn’t since most or all imports should be stopped from the offending country.The 13th Ammendment should make such imports illegal since doing so supports what amounts to slavery. It shouldn’t matter if it is in another country that the slavery is used.The importing of the slave made products supports slavery.
The same way their using child labor violates US law.
In other words if a product is manufactured in a way it would be illegal to manufactur in the USA them importing it should be illegal. The reason for stopping all imports until the one manufactured by labor that would be illegal here is to put further teeth into the law. Hopefully the European Union would take the same action.
Further precident to enforce this is we don’t allow dangerous products to be imported or demand a recall if we catch them. Lead painted toys for example.
The same action could be used for the slave labor made products.


#3

The bad pat is that microsft is not the only company that allows and benefits from this kind of modern slavery, and as [B]cholla[/B] said this products should not be legal in Europe or US and the rest of the so called civilized world.


#4

[QUOTE=vroom;2512016]The bad pat is that microsft is not the only company that allows and benefits from this kind of modern slavery, and as [B]cholla[/B] said this products should not be legal in Europe or US and the rest of the so called civilized world.[/QUOTE]

Completely agree. That is horrendous. :a


#5

[QUOTE=vroom;2512016]The bad pat is that microsft is not the only company that allows and benefits from this kind of modern slavery, and as [B]cholla[/B] said this products should not be legal in Europe or US and the rest of the so called civilized world.[/QUOTE]

Well, no more stuff for all of us consumers then, except maybe some food or hemp.

Get it people. Almost everything comes from Asian countries. Your shoes, your lighters, your jeans, your computer. Everything.


#7

[QUOTE=Mr. Belvedere;2512057]Well, no more stuff for all of us consumers then, except maybe some food or hemp.
Get it people. Almost everything comes from Asian countries. Your shoes, your lighters, your jeans, your computer. Everything.[/QUOTE]

The USA grows plenty of food so we’re OK there.
I can get by with my old things till we can start manufacturing shoes,jeans(most of mine are assembled in Mexico of US made components) I guess the USA can still weave cloth,make zippers & rivets You got me on the computers but there was a time the USA led the world in electronics manufacture ;all we need to do is start doing it again.
For lighters I don’t need them I don’t smoke.
The USA could create a lot of jobs for it’s citizens like we used to.
I bet therewould be a line to get a job making shoes if it paid $15.00 an hour.
I wonder how many pair a person could make in a hour.I be more than one.
Lets say 2 pair@ $50.00 a pair thet means a company would be able to make $85.00 per hour for each worker minus materials. So I think we could do this.
The real point is we shouldn’t be making the purchase from countries like China even if we have to do without.
The example of the shoes shows we wouldn’t have to do without & still could make plenty of profit.


#8

[QUOTE=cholla;2512143]I bet therewould be a line to get a job making shoes if it paid $15.00 an hour.[/quote] In here lies the problem. If you pay your workers $15.00 an hour, the shoes will get immensly expensive. At least according to current market prices. You would compete with a Chinese slave trader who doesn’t pay squat to his workers. This is “the free market”. Your company would be out of business soon, because nobody would like to pay more for the same quality.

I wonder how many pair a person could make in a hour.I be more than one. Lets say 2 pair@ $50.00 a pair thet means a company would be able to make $85.00 per hour for each worker minus materials. So I think we could do this.
Perhaps, but the consumer is paying for it.

The real point is we shouldn’t be making the purchase from countries like China even if we have to do without. The example of the shoes shows we wouldn’t have to do without & still could make plenty of profit.
Agree, but if you want something done cheap, you gotta sacrifice costs somewhere. And there are plenty of slaves… err workers… err people around in China, so the sacrifice is pretty easy.

When the consumer is aware of the origin and procedure, even then they will not pay more. It’s China… that magical land with dragons and strange politics.


#9

I don’t think the shoes made at $15.00 an hour here would be “immensly expensive”.
It’s just the manufacturer down to the seller would have to take less profit.
I think an assembly line could average more than 2 pair per hour per worker so the cost per pair could be even less.
Still even if they had to charge $50.00 per pair at the sellers end that still allows $85.00 for materials & manufacturer down to the seller.So I think there would be adaquate profit.The problem lies in the fact companies have gotten greedy & want excess profits.The “free market” would not be a concern because the intent would be to sell the shoes in the US only.
So I think an American company that did this could be competitive enough.
This would be helped by appliying exitting US law against slavery.If some law firm would take a case probono & take it to the Supreme Court.Then countries like China would no longer be a competitor.
I think the problem lies partly in people beleiving it can’t be done.
BTW I choose shoes as an example .This could be applied to almost any manufactured product.I just thought they would be one of the easier products to tool up for.
If something like this actually got started & worked like I think it could maybe other countries that don’t allow slave labor would follow the example.
Then countries like China would be forced to pay more if they wanted to sell their products outside of their country.
On another note since countries like the USA have a minimum wage & require certain other working standards.Safety ,etc. Allowing products to be imported from a country that doesn’t have these should be considered an unfair trade practice.So not allowed to be imported on that basis also.
Also note that Chinese made shoes & other shoes made in slave labor countries cost more than the people in those countries could afford to pay.So they are made soley for export.
Not all Asian made shoes are cheap .I’m not sure where these are made.
http://www.amazon.com/Nike-university-Lakers-throwback-colorway/dp/B000G3TMFK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=shoes&qid=1271955659&sr=1-1


#10

Chinese Corporations does this their own people, The world governments are not doing enough to stop this kind of stuff. Corporations for the most part suck and really only want to satisfy their stock holders. It is amazing that this picture has to be “smuggled” out of China, that says a lot about China.

I think if fuel gets really expensive you will see more manufacturing coming from local manufacturers. If their aren’t any, then there could be an opportunity for building a factory. I programmed CNC machinery for a major aerospace manufacturer and I also was a plastic injection “mold-maker”. This technology has actually gotten easier with the advent of cheap CAD software and the price of CNC machinery coming down. There really is no need for this slave labor. It is corruption at the government and private levels in all the countries involved. That being said, in the USA, everything in Walmart comes from China. So sometimes your choices are limited.


#11

Thank goodness my laptop is made in TaiWan and not China… :stuck_out_tongue:


#12

The politicians will not make or enforce these type of laws in the near future. The Chinese control alot of US debt. Besides, most Americans still shop at Walmart knowing all the cheap crap comes from China’s laborers


#13

I understand that in general, chinese workers have a 30minute nap after lunch …

At any rate, the solution to cheap overseas manufacturing is … fuel excise :iagree:
Tack a levy on goods, based on the fuel used to transport it … BAM, not so cheap to import anymore, eh?

Now, we just need a solution to prevent “interested parties” from declaring these overseas tariffs as an affront to the “free-trade” agreements and an affront to capital … err … democracy & your countries lifestyle :iagree:


#14

Not a bad idea debro but the point is the USA shouldn’t allow these imports period because they are made by what amounts to slave labor.
I’m ashamed to admit the USA allowed this but not so different from what we did to coal miners here at one time. Forced to live in coal company housing & buy from over priced coal company stores.Keeping them in perpetual debt. No longer done . We made laws against this.
For those that use the “free-trade” agreements arguement they need to be reminded this is not “free-trade” it is slave-trade.
So it should be morally offensive to all Americans .
How can a country like the USA compete when the least required here is a minimum wage & safety standards.
My opinion is if the USA started manufacturing on a scale we did at one time the cost would be less than people think. The answer to stopping American companies greed is a major excess profits tax.To the point of taxing 100% of profit over a certain amount. This would force either price cuts to make happier customers or better wages for employees. Probably both. This is the answer to reviving the US ecomomy . The only way a country prospers is plenty of jobs & a decent living wage.
The Chinese government & some elite Chinese may be prosperous but I can safely say that doesn’t apply to the majority of the Chinese.
A lot of what I said about the USA (my country) could be applied in Europe & elsewhere.
But each country has its morals & laws so they need to decide on there own whether to buy products made with slave labor.
@silver30 , What I would actually do about the US debt China thinks they own & any other country that the USA owes.Is just wipe it off our books .With a if you don’t like it don’t sell us anything else. I would change all US currency & make any of the old currency held by foreign countries invalid & illegal to be brought into the USA. US citizens in the USA would have a limited time to exchange old currency for new. For the majority of US citizens this would not be a problem. Sure would clear out a lot of money hidden in safety deposit boxes & illegal money like drug money.


#15

Taking note that these people move to the cities to get these “good jobs”. What sort of life do these people have otherwise … it’s not so simple.
Also taking note of the customary nap that the chinese seem to have after lunch, during their lunch break.
We can argue that they need better staff rooms & whatnot, but they’d probably fall asleep at their desk/workstation regardless to maximise their nap time.

All of western society is guilty of this. Everyone should be thinking about this before they grab the cheap crap “made in china” off the shelf and put it into their basket … but then … if that’s the case, shopping would be quite uneventful, and disappointing. Nearly everything is made in china now.

[QUOTE=cholla;2513432]For those that use the “free-trade” agreements arguement they need to be reminded this is not “free-trade” it is slave-trade.
[/quote] And they’d argue that the working conditions for these workers is much better than the standards they’d expect otherwise. They’d further argue that it’s the chinese doing it to themselves, because they provide a product design & sepcifications, and then outsource it to a chinese manufacturer … ergo … the chinese are doing it to themselves, and their conscience is clear :iagree:

[QUOTE=cholla;2513432]So it should be morally offensive to all Americans .
How can a country like the USA compete when the least required here is a minimum wage & safety standards.[/quote]
Think global … all western society are inflicting this on the third world … and china :iagree:

Now you’re being declared socialist by a bunch of conservatives.
Tax the transport … put a distance levy on everything, and call it an environmental levy … while disguising the true intent.

Declaring higher taxes for corporations will just make the companies move overseas to a tax haven … earlier :iagree:

The adage says … you have to have money to make money … and US corporations have been grabbing all the money they could from the western world, and sending it overseas to china/malawi/etc under the guise of cheaper operating costs.

Now, no-one has any money. They’re destroying their own market :iagree:
I guess that’s why they’re busy developing giant shopping malls in China :wink:

[QUOTE=cholla;2513432]
The only way a country prospers is plenty of jobs & a decent living wage.
The Chinese government & some elite Chinese may be prosperous but I can safely say that doesn’t apply to the majority of the Chinese.
[/quote] Yep.

[QUOTE=cholla;2513432]
A lot of what I said about the USA (my country) could be applied in Europe & elsewhere.
[/quote]Yep.

[QUOTE=cholla;2513432]But each country has its morals & laws so they need to decide on there own whether to buy products made with slave labor.
[/quote] I’m sure it’s morally objectionable to any country that recognises equal human rights. That means any country that’s not governed by religions based on morals & standard from 1000’s of years ago :stuck_out_tongue:
Even christianity is a bit silly … stone the queers … and what sort of entertainment & fashion industry would we have? They dominate the entertainment industry, and the fashion industry …
Hmm … I like the entertainment industry … the fashion industry could be wrapped up in a hessian sack, and dropped in the river with a few bricks for all I care :stuck_out_tongue:

This has implications that you cannot begin to imagine.
The USA will lose it’s credit rating. No-one will lend the USA money in the foreseeable future, and credit is required for progress!
Want to build a residential building … you need money.
Oops … only the filthy rich mega corporations have $30 million lying around … and chances are, the stock market has higher, or at least faster, returns than trying to sell a bunch of units to people that can’t get credit to buy their house … nuff said.

Housing prices will shoot through the roof, people will become homeless … cats & dogs will be living together …

[QUOTE=cholla;2513432] With a if you don’t like it don’t sell us anything else. I would change all US currency & make any of the old currency held by foreign countries invalid & illegal to be brought into the USA. US citizens in the USA would have a limited time to exchange old currency for new. For the majority of US citizens this would not be a problem. Sure would clear out a lot of money hidden in safety deposit boxes & illegal money like drug money.[/QUOTE]
Alot of old grannies would be sorely upset. Organised crime would have methods to deal with exchanging old notes, they have insiders, and failing that they’d pay/threaten someone to deal with exchanging it … and would only be a once off issue regardless :wink: It’d hurt alot of legitimate people, moreso than illicit trades :iagree:


#16

debro ,I appreciate the effort of a good response even if we don’t agree on all points.

[QUOTE=debro;2513607]Now you’re being declared socialist by a bunch of conservatives.

Declaring higher taxes for corporations will just make the companies move overseas to a tax haven [/QUOTE]

Being declared a Socialist is OK with me. Conservatives & liberals are Socialists too some just don’t realize it.
Now for an explanation.All governments, nations , or societies what ever you preference are Socialist. That is what laws created by them are rules for a society of people to live by. Society & Socialist are pretty close cousins.
The only law that is not Socialist is the law of the jungle.Where the strong take from those weaker with no repercussions.
Although I would take offense at being called a Communist.
The USA is not purely Capitalist either . Take banks & credit card companies for example.They can charge the interest & late charges that demand will let them but it has to be in a contract . Other wise you could borrow money at 15% per annum one day & the credit card compamy could change it to 100% per day the next day.Being bound by a contract is not pure Capitalism. Most states in the USA have usary laws that limit loans by an individual to 10% per annum. This is a further limit on pure Capitalism.
For a second example distilleries & breweries could make a lot more money if they could sell to minors also.Laws say they can’t this limits their ability to make as much money from their product as possible.So again a limit on Capitalism. All in the USA which is supposed to be the most Capitalistic country.

For companies moving because of higher taxes.Now they are doing this & will continue.If the slave labor products were no longer allowed to be imported into the USA, They wouldn’t do that.Because why make something you don’t have a place to sell.
Do I think any of this will be done in my lifetime ? NO
Will it ever be done ? Maybe
I actually see the world going to a One Government World. I’m against that but that’s what I predict. Yes I know it is usually said One World Government I find that gramatically incorrect.


#17

[QUOTE=cholla;2513432]Not a bad idea debro but the point is the USA
@silver30 , What I would actually do about the US debt China thinks they own & any other country that the USA owes.Is just wipe it off our books .With a if you don’t like it don’t sell us anything else. I would change all US currency & make any of the old currency held by foreign countries invalid & illegal to be brought into the USA. US citizens in the USA would have a limited time to exchange old currency for new. For the majority of US citizens this would not be a problem. Sure would clear out a lot of money hidden in safety deposit boxes & illegal money like drug money.[/QUOTE]

All the other countries would not invest in America anymore. As Debro said, we would lose our credit rating. It would also tank the markets. Look whats happening in Greece. They are having riots and protests, because of their budget and debt problems. We could put some kind of tariff or tax on Chinese goods. Hopefully Obama or the next President could start balancing the budget.