Ghastly working conditions in a Chinese keyboard factory

The National Labor Council's investigation into the working conditions at the Meitai keyboard factory in Dongguan City is just ghastly, a stinging indictment of the South China economic miracle. The workers are underpaid, cheated out of their wages, forced into overtime, subjected to brainwashing, and subjected to unsafe working conditions and denied medical assistance when they're injured. Meitai makes keyboards for Lenovo, Microsoft, HP and others.

Big Brother Is Watching

"Employees should actively monitor each other."
(Meitai factory's Factory Regulations and Discipline, Chapter VII)

"Infractions" punished with the loss of over two hours' wages (fine of 10 RMB–$1.44), including for–

–"Being 1 to 5 minutes late to start a shift…"

–"Not periodically trimming fingernails, which will affect product quality."

–"Not lining up correctly while punching time cards or at the cafeteria."

–"Wearing work shoes outside the work room after work."

–"Putting hands in pant pockets while inside the factory or workroom."

"Infractions" punished with the loss of 4 ½ hours wages (20 RMB fine, $2.88)

–"…answering a personal telephone call in the workroom."

–"Not diligently working or raising ones head to look around when guests or cadres come to visit."

–"Putting personal objects on the work desk."

–"…listening to the radio while on the job."

–"Not parking bicycles according to company regulations; riding bicycles in and out of the company in a way not in accordance with company regulations."

–"Returning to the dorm after regulated hours [curfew]."

"Infractions" punished with the loss of nearly seven hours' wages (30 RMB fine–$4.32)

–"Switching beds without authorization." (Dorm beds are assigned by management.)

"Infractions" punished with the loss of nearly 1 ½ days' wages (50 RMB fine–$7.20)

–"Workers who arrive over one hour late…"

–"Riding the elevator without permission."

–"Plugging in electronics [using electricity] in the dorm room for personal use."

–"Using the company phone to make personal calls."

–"Producing products of low quality…"

–"Workers who…go to visit other workers during working hours."

–"Chatting at the workstation during work hours…"

–"Entering or leaving the factory area without allowing door personnel [security guards] to inspect [search workers]."

–"Treating supervisors with an arrogant attitude…"

"Infractions" punished with the loss of nearly three days' wages (100 RMB fine–$14.40):

–"Leaving one's workstation without permission…"

–"Putting up personal notices…or handing out flyers."

–"Revealing confidential company or production-related information."

"Infractions" punished with firing:

–"Violating labor discipline…and not obeying the company's work arrangements."

–"…Taking part in illegal organizations." [In China, this means independent unions; human, women's and children's rights organizations and non-state-sanctioned religious organizations.]

–"Not following the procedures spelled out by government regulations on stopping work, slowing work down, encouraging others to stop or slow down work."

–"Missing three days of work."

–"Disobeying China's one-child policy."

–"Not obeying company arrangements or directions or…collectively causing trouble as a group…"

–"Any behavior similar to that listed above or helping or colluding in such behavior."

The Dehumanization of Young Workers Producing Our Computer Keyboard

(via IZ Reloaded)