Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Xbox Suicides China - Chairman Bill's Offshore Worker's Paradise Sucks?

Xbox Suicides sounds like an awful off-broadway play using Goth actors etc.
But Chairman Bill and the late Chairman Steve has turned all their offshore worker’s paradises into the sort of place where workers threaten suicide and some actually do that under care of Bill’s and Steve’s go-to Foxconn.

 "Microsoft is committed to the fair treatment and safety of workers employed by our vendors and to ensuring conformance with Microsoft policy."

All the suicide victims at Foxconn’s two Shenzhen factories have been migrant workers in the 17-25 age group. One obvious factor is overwork – employees are forced to work double or triple the legal limit on overtime on a regular basis, according to independent surveys. While the maximum legal amount of overtime is 36 hours per month in China, researchers report that 80 to 100 hours of overtime is normal at Foxconn. Other violations of China’s labour laws are legion, according to interviews with employees and ex-employees.  
Another factor is systematic repression. The company prefers to employ ex-army officers from Taiwan as line supervisors. Militarisation of the production process is a feature of the ‘Foxconn model’. Nearly 28 percent of workers have been verbally insulted by supervisors or security personnel, and 16 percent have suffered physical abuse, according to a 83-page dossier on Foxconn produced jointly by 20 Chinese, Hong Kong and Taiwanese universities last October. 
“Workers aren’t allowed to talk, smile, sit down, walk around or move unnecessarily during their long working hours, which require them to finish 20,000 products every day,” the report states. More than one in eight employees interviewed for the report said they had passed out on the assembly line due to the high pressure and long working hours. One in four women workers said they suffered menstrual disorders due to overwork.