Microsoft defends reports of exploited foreign workers

Posted by Trent Nouveau

Microsoft makes billions. The kids who make its mouse? 52 cents an hour, according to a report published by the International Labor Committee.

Indeed, shifts at the KYE factory may stretch up to 15 hours, with monotonous, numbing and exhausting work as the young workers frantically race to complete their mandatory production goals.

Microsoft defends reports of exploited foreign workers According to the report, entitled "China's Youth Meet Microsoft," twenty or thirty workers on a line must complete 2,000 Microsoft mice in just 12 hours.

"The workers' hands and fingers are constantly moving, many suffering abrasions and cuts, since the connectors must be inserted very closely together," the shocking report revealed.

"Once workers meet the production goal, management raises it. The factory is very crowded. In one workshop measuring around 105 by 105 feet, there were nearly 1,000 workers. In the summer, temperatures can exceed 86 degrees and workers leave their shifts dripping in sweat."



Unsurprisingly, Microsoft responded to the above-mentioned charges by insisting that it took the concept of workers rights "very seriously."

"As a result of this report, we have a team of independent auditors en route to the facility to conduct a complete and thorough investigation. If we find that the factory is not adhering to our standards, we will take appropriate action," MS claimed in an official statement.

"We should note that...over the past two years, we have required documentation and verification of worker age, and no incidence of child labor has been detected. Worker overtime has been significantly reduced, and worker compensation is in line with the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition standards for the Dongguan area."



The Redmond-based company added that it will be conducting another "comprehensive on-site audit" of the facility next week, with a specific goal of investigating the allegations raised in the NLC report.  



"We will [also] have monitors on site pending the results of the inspection...and take all appropriate steps to ensure the fair treatment of the KYE workers."