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National Labor Committee report on Chinese CE factories uncovers deplorable conditions

Apr 15, 2010, 22:04 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Laura June)

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"Yesterday, the National Labor Committee produced a report on the working conditions at the KYE Factory in Dongguan City, Guangdong, China. KYE operates (like many factories in China) a live-work facility and generated sales of $400 million in 2008. KYE manufactures outsourced products for HP, Best Buy, Samsung, Foxconn, Acer, Logitech, and ASUS. Their largest customer, however, is reportedly Microsoft. The report details some of what we've come to expect in stories of labor abuses -- near children, most of them women, working for 16 or 17 hours a day, living in nearly deplorable conditions, for less than a dollar an hour -- all so that the world's ever-growing need for / addiction to consumer electronics can be fed.

"Now, the gadget industry isn't the only offender by a stretch -- but it's quickly becoming one of the largest (in addition to producing a truly horrific amount of toxic garbage). After the break are some choice facts from the report that our readers might be interested in ingesting, so read on.

"KYE recruits hundreds-even up to 1,000-"work study students" 16 and 17 years of age, who work 15-hour shifts, six and seven days a week. In 2007 and 2008, dozens of the work study students were reported to be just 14 and 15 years old. A typical shift is from 7:45 a.m. to 10:55 p.m.

"Along with the work study students-most of whom stay at the factory three months, though some remain six months or longer-KYE prefers to hire women 18 to 25 years of age, since they are easier to discipline and control. Workers are paid 65 cents an hour, which falls to a take-home wage of 52 cents after deductions for factory food"

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