Linked by David Adams on Wed 17th Dec 2008 17:15 UTC, submitted by Michael
In the News In a muckraking article, suppliers to well-known computer manufacturers are accused of mistreating workers and violating Chinese labor law: "According to a Hong-Kong based human rights organization, working hours total up to 370 hours per month, workers aren't receiving the legal minimum wage and in the run-up to Christmas, days off are cut out entirely." One of the reasons that high tech hardware has become so widespread and useful is because it's so inexpensive. As this article demonstrates, this affordability can come at a price.
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Globalization effect
by acobar on Wed 17th Dec 2008 18:28 UTC
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May be, it will sound a bit silly or just plain stupid, but I believe that things like that are a side effect of the wild globalization effect we experienced in last decades.

Lots of "poor" countries were, and still are, competing to attract companies by offering low cost labor, neglecting the most basic human safety conditions and workers rights to be competitive. Even when western companies don't own the facilities they love the price and go for it, usually closing or reducing their fabs on other places. As a direct effect, it lower the power of labor unions and the seek for better work conditions.

There are a lot of discussion about how the consumers see the benefit of the price reduction, but I get myself asking more and more what is the effect of this in the long run. We all know that there is no free lunch and, perhaps, we will find a very important component of the big crisis on USA, Europe and other countries as a consequence of allowing companies to pursue the "easy" money with almost no control.

Not that I am against let jobs go to "less healthy" places but, for sure, we need to respect not only our own workers on our own countries but also the basic ideals we have about humans beings prior to let it happen. This way we would also contribute to promote an improved life quality at all places.

Unluckily, there are too many greedy humans out in companies and financial institutions. Legislators, bring on more restrictive laws.

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