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Your Xbox 360 was made in a sweatshop
05-05-2010, 05:55 AM,
Your Xbox 360 was made in a sweatshop
Quote:If one were to take an informal poll as to whether or not slavery still exists, many individuals would say no. However, contrary to popular belief, slave labor is still used and is becoming increasingly prevalent.

This frightening form of labor is often found in large corporations and conglomerates. The National Labor Committee recently made public accusations that Microsoft has been guilty of using low paid and underage labor to manufacture the famous Xbox 360 gaming console. According to an article in the UK's Telegraph newspaper, this committee is a non-profit group which advocates the rights of workers in large U.S.-based corporations.

In Southern China, the KYE Systems factory is facing accusations toward managers of the company. These managers are known to control workers, who often sleep fourteen to a room and take baths in small plastic buckets of communal water. While this factory is only 105 feet by 105 feet, there are frequently over 1,000 workers on shift at one time.

The KYE Systems factory, along with many others of its kind, can get away with paying very low wages due to the fact that most workers are employed for less than a year in these harsh conditions.

This factory is one of the main locations of Xbox 360 manufacturing, and workers are paid as little as $0.37 per hour. The United States minimum wage is almost nineteen times that amount. So, why is it that such a wealthy corporation pays their workers so little? Is it just because they can?

It is becoming increasingly popular for large, multi-million dollar corporations to outsource their labor to countries outside of the United States. In addition to Microsoft having the majority of their labor done in China, Nike Inc. is known to have multiple sweatshops in Indonesia, China and Vietnam. These countries have no labor laws protecting citizens, which result in an endless supply of low-wage labor.

According to CBS News, Nike workers in Vietnam earn as little as $0.20 per hour. As if these shockingly-low wages were not enough, there is an abundance of sexual, physical and verbal abuse performed against women by the heads of the factories. Violence is not the only problem in these inhumane facilities­-employees are only allowed to go to the bathroom once during an eight hour shift and are limited to two water breaks. To put this in perspective: the average cost of three meals in Vietnam is $2. This means that the Nike employees working in the sweatshops are forced to skip multiple meals, which results in sickness and malnutrition.

It would only take two percent of Nike's $630 million operating budget to raise the salaries of all Vietnamese employers to a livable wage of $3 per day. Nevertheless, Nike has been known to move their sweatshops to other countries when employees start complaining and demand better working conditions.

Overall, the use of sweatshops is becoming increasingly common for large corporations. Microsoft and Nike Inc. are not the only corporations that are known for outsourcing their labor. According to Green America's "responsible shopper" guide, other big corporations to keep an eye on are Wal-Mart, Disney, The Gap (Banana Republic and Old Navy), JCPenney, H&M and Kohl's. On the other hand, companies with the best ratings on the guide included Timberland, L.L. Bean, Eddie Bauer and J. Crew. TJ Maxx and Victoria's Secret received mediocre ratings.

In addition to Green America, there are many non-profit organizations that promote education on the topic of outsourced slave labor. For example, "No Sweat Apparel" is a grassroots company dedicated solely to the sale of union-made clothing. Supporting organizations such as these is a way to combat corporations known for paying employees drastically low wages, forcing them to work in inhumane conditions.
05-05-2010, 06:35 AM,
RE: Your Xbox 360 was made in a sweatshop
Good find inheritor. Let's post this up in all the gaming forums and news sites (with the expectation a lot of them to be deleted due to sponsorship and ad revenue) so the people that are supporting this are given no excuse when this tyrannical corporatism is revealed and ideally met with some resistance by taking a chunk out of the bottom line. Moral, fair trade gaming -- what a concept.

There are no others, there is only us.
05-10-2010, 08:12 AM,
RE: Your Xbox 360 was made in a sweatshop
You have collect very nice information.One of the reasons the US economy has slumped over the last two decades is our collective shift from a exporting,manufacturing nation to a outsourcing,importing one.Americans want cheap crap and our corporations supply it.A Chinese manufacturer exploits the lack of labor regulation and general lack of wealth in China to produce large quantities of goods for dirt cheap.

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