Microsoft 'investigating China factory report'

Friday 16 April 2010 10:36
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Microsoft said on Thursday it was investigating charges that young workers at a factory in China making its mice, cameras and Xbox controllers suffer overlong working hours and harsh treatment.

A report, published by rights group the National Labor Committee earlier this week, alleged that teenaged workers at a factory operated by KYE Systems Corp in Dongguan, China, faced military-style discipline, were fined for mistakes and housed in dirty dorm rooms after working 15-hour shifts.

"We have a team of independent auditors en route to the facility to conduct a complete and thorough investigation," said Brian Tobey, who heads manufacturing for Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices unit, in a blog post on the company's website. "If we find that the factory is not adhering to our standards, we will take appropriate action."

Tobey said an independent auditor has been inspecting the KYE factory annually, while Microsoft representatives conduct quarterly on-site assessments.

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

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