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SChajin
07-25-2006, 03:46 PM
At some places:

***** looks into claims of poor conditions at China **** factory

By ELAINE KURTENBACH
AP Business Writer
Last Updated:June 16. 2006 12:31AM
Published: June 16. 2006 3:30AM

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***** Computer Inc. is investigating claims of poor working conditions at a Chinese **** factory, the company said Friday, vowing not to tolerate any labor violations.

The company was responding to a report by a British newspaper, the Mail on Sunday, that alleged workers at an unnamed **** factory were paid as little as $50 to work 15-hour shifts making the devices.

The Mail's report did not provide many details about the location or ownership of the factory, but its allegations provoked a vigorous response from *****, based in Cupertino, Calif.

"***** is committed to ensuring that working conditions in our supply chain are safe, workers are treated with respect and dignity, and manufacturing processes are environmentally responsible," said a statement from Steve Dowling, an ***** spokesman.

"We are currently investigating the allegations regarding working conditions in the **** manufacturing plant in China. We do not tolerate any violations of our supplier code of conduct," it said.

*****'s iconic **** players are made abroad, mainly in China. The company has sold more than 50 million ****s since its debut in 2001.

Staff at Foxconn, a Taiwanese company that reportedly assembles the ****s and products of many other major manufacturers in China, refused comment when contacted Friday at the company's China headquarters in Shenzhen, a city bordering Hong Kong.

Foxconn is the trade name for Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., which claims many big name customers including Intel Corp., Dell Inc. and **** Corp.

In a report in the state-run newspaper Beijing Times, a company spokeswoman, identified only by the surname He, denied there were any labor violations at its factories.

"The labor department can come to our factory and investigate," He was quoted as saying.

***** adopted a code of conduct for its suppliers last November, saying it was modeled after the Electronic Industry Code of Conduct and other labor standards.

The code bans child labor and sets a maximum of 60-hour work weeks, including overtime. The provisions also require suppliers to comply with applicable laws on minimum wages and to keep worker dormitories clean and safe.

Allegations of poor working conditions are rife in China and workers often are housed in rudimentary dormitories, fed poorly and subjected to poor pay, unsafe working conditions and other maltreatment. Although $50 monthly would be relatively low pay, wages can run even lower for some jobs.

However, the official minimum wage in Shenzhen, where Foxconn has some of its factories, is about twice that amount.

AP Technology Writer May Wong in San Jose, Calif. contributed to this report.

ez-ez
07-25-2006, 03:57 PM
It seems to me that some media are determined to publish some dirt about China, even if it meant that they manfacture the dirt themselves. This article falls short of proofing their claim that Chinese workers are mistreated. Furtherfmore, a British Newspaper is not, and should not be, in a position to determine what is a fair pay in the Chinese job market. China has its own Industrial Laws and they do take the law seriously in China. If the pay of $50 per 15 hours seems to be an under-pay by British, American or Australian standards, it may not be the case in China. The involvement of **** in the debate seems arrogant in my opinion. **** can merely grant a contract of work to a supplier of services and should recognise that it has no jurisdiction in relation to the any industrial matters within the supplier's work environment. I can assure you that if a Chinese company applied pressure on a western employer because of their industrial practises, the entire west will be up in arms telling china to mind its own business... I echo the motion and say, Western Media, leave China alone and mind your own business.

bill2006
07-26-2006, 05:20 AM
Its very difficult to judge. We have grown from a manfacturing economy to a services community. We're the best at design and one of the worst in controlling quality and making durable goods.

I would recommend reading Thomas Friedman's book "The World is Flat" very eye opening.