Despite the fact that the world economy is suffering from cutbacks in nearly every job sector, factory workers in places such as the Meitai factory in Dongguan City, Guangdong, China -- which assembles and produces keyboards for companies including Lenovo, Microsoft, Dell, HP and IBM -- have been relatively insulated from the downturn, and their jobs secure. The National Labor Committee has conducted a covert operation to investigate the working conditions at the factory, however, and found them to be less than acceptable. The workers -- who arguably are not compensated very well to begin with -- are cheated out of wages for negligible wrongdoing, forced into overtime, fed food that even a Dickens character would refuse, work twelve hours a day seven days a week, and sleep in dorms which are "primitive" (yes, workers live at the factory). The report that the NLC has compiled is quite long, detailed, depressing, and begins, ironically, with a Bill Gates quote. Hit the read link for the full story.

Update: It looks like the source material at the read links is only working intermittently.

[Via Boing Boing]

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Study finds horrible working conditions at Microsoft, Dell ODM factory