Microsoft has said that it’s to investigate reports that workers in a Chinese factory making its mice, cameras and Xbox 360 controllers are being subjected to a harsh workplace environment.
This week, a report from the National Labor Committee revealed that teenagers working at a factory run by KYE Systems Corp in Dongguan, China, were subjected to “military-style discipline”, forced to work 15-hour shifts, fined for mistakes made to products, and put-up in dirty dorm rooms.
“We have a team of independent auditors en route to the facility to conduct a complete and thorough investigation,” wrote Brian Tobey, head of manufacturing for Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices unit, on the company blog.
“If we find that the factory is not adhering to our standards, we will take appropriate action.”
Tobey said that the company is taking the report seriously, and that it employs an independent auditor to inspect the KYE factory annually, and that Microsoft itself conducts quarterly visits to it.
“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.”
The report was conducted over a three-year period by the National Labor Committee, and one teenage worker on the site told researchers that: “We are like prisoners… we do not have a life, only work.”
Sad thing, there.