Microsoft in hot water over China factory conditions

Yet another scandal coming out of China relating to its factories. Last time it was Apple that got in trouble, now it’s Microsoft. An undercover investigation, carried out by the National Labor Committee over a period of three years, discovered that several factories there, including ones used by Microsoft to produce things like webcams and mice, were treating their workers like garbage. “We are like prisoners. It seems like we live only to work. We do not work to live. We do not live a life, only work.”

I had mentioned in our chatroom that I’m surprised these type of stories are still “news” to people, right or wrong. (Probably wrong.) When I think of Chinese factories, I don’t necessarily think of exquisite working conditions or kind and caring bosses.

That applies to all factories from the beginning of time, by the way, not just Chinese factories. It’s just that China is the world’s manufactory these days. A couple years ago you’d have stories about kids in Manchester textile factories putting up with pure hell. It’s simply the nature of the beast.

The NLC investigation says that it found workers would work for 15 hours per day at 65 cents per day. One-thousand workers crammed inside a 105 by 105-foot room doesn’t exactly sound comfortable.

Again, Microsoft is the biggest company implicated here, with some of its components being constructed in said factories. Other companies include HP, Samsung, Acer, Logitech, and Foxconn. Microsoft says it has launched an investigation of its own to figure out what’s going on.

That fancy new gadget you just bought? Odds are it wasn’t created in what you’d consider “nice” working conditions, at least by American standards.

Stories like these can easily mutate into “anti-China” stories, and that’s not really fair. If anything, they should be “anti-terrible working conditions” stories, and these have popped up through the ages.