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China: Microsoft factories guilty of illegal labor practices.

Microsoft has two factories making its products in China, where conditions are so bad even the Chinese find it cruel.

From China Daily…

Two Guangdong-based factories contracted to global giant Microsoft have been found guilty of illegal labor practices, including the employment of more than 300 16- to 18-year-old workers without registration. The companies will face administrative penalties if they do not change their work practices to comply with the law, authorities said.

The investigation was launched by the Dongguan human resources bureau, following a report from the United States-based non-profit organization National Labor Committee (NLC). Their report, released Tuesday, detailed long working hours, low pay, insufficient food and few freedoms for young laborers at the KYE Systems Corporation factory in Dongguan, South China’s Guangdong province.

Included in the report are claims that 16- and 17-year-olds work 15-hour shifts for about 50 cents an hour. They are prohibited from talking or using the bathroom during work hours, and sleep crammed in 14-person dorm rooms. They are only allowed to leave the factory grounds at certain times, the Associated Press reported on Friday.

Taiwan-based KYE assembles and packages hardware products for Microsoft and other companies.

KYE owns two factories in Dongguan – Kunying Computer Products Company and Xieying Computer Products Company – which employ nearly 4,000 workers, according to Friday’s report from the Dongguan human resources bureau, the local labor administration authority.