Founded in 2000, China Labor Watch (CLW) is a New-York based not-for-profit organization. CLW views Chinese workers’ rights as inalienable human rights and is dedicated to promoting workers’ fair redistribution of wealth under globalization.
China Labor Watch recently conducted an in-depth investigation of MSI Computer (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd., a Taiwanese company and supplier of global brand electronics companies including Dell, HP, NEC and other OEM brands.
Of the labor abuses revealed, the most serious concerns include:
- Blatant discrimination against male workers and older workers
- Hepatitis B testing is mandatory, all carriers are disqualified from recruitment
- Pregnancy testing is mandatory and may be used in a discriminatory nature
- There are only 1-2 rest days each month during the peak season
- There is a 12+ hour/day, 6-7-day work week during the peak season. Working hours exceed the statutory maximum, and EICC standard of 60 hours/week
- Before work “educational sessions” and after work self-criticism reviews are mandatory, and unpaid
- If a production quota is not met, there is additional unpaid overtime
- There is no paid sick leave, maternal leave, or marriage leave
- During working hours, talking is strictly forbidden, and workers are unable to use the bathroom
- If management discovers a mistake, they will criticize or personally insult and belittle the worker
- Seasonal production fluctuations create unreasonable work intensity with no rest, or low wages
- The unspoken resignation rule is that workers must voluntarily resign and forfeit 12 days of wages
Since the management at MSI is only focused on end results, the production process is sustained at the expense of the interests and wellbeing of the workers. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated situation, and the MSI case is representative of many electronics factories in the Pearl River Delta.
As the readily available labor supply continues to contract, workers at electronics factories such as MSI will likely have to redouble their work intensity to complete production orders. Executive Director of China Labor Watch, Li Qiang, states: “Workers are becoming less willing to stand for compromising working conditions, excessive hours and unfair wages. It is in the interest of the workers, factories and buyer companies to improve workers’ situations and create retaining incentives.”