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No child laborers found in Microsoft suppliers, says local official

People's Daily Online  |  April 19, 2010  | 

The two factories of KYE Systems Corporation have not employed child laborers, or workers younger than 16, said an official with the local labor authority in Dongguan.

However, he admitted that 326 workers aged 16 to 18 in Kunying Computer Products Company and Xieying Computer Products Company, which employ nearly 4,000 workers, have not been registered with the local labor administration authority.

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

Last week, the U.S. National Labor Committee (NLC) released a report detailing long working hours, low pay, insufficient food and few freedoms for young laborers at the KYE Systems Corporation factories.

No child laborers

The report that "KYE employed hundreds of child laborers" was not precise, according to local labor authority.

"The two factories employ 385 under-aged workers, aged 16 to 18, and 326 of them are not registered," said the official. 

According to Chinese laws, enterprises are allowed to employ under-aged workers after they are registered with local labor authority.

Working overtime

The factories' management failed to give employees a copy of their labor contract and also forced them to work overtime.

Workers on the production line were forced to work an average of 280 hours in March, much more than the typical 160 hours per month worked by those with 40-hour weeks. 

The workers did, however, receive salary and overtime pay, and their pay has reached the minimum wage standard of the city, according to the Dongguan labor authority.

"We'll closely follow the factories' rectification to safeguard the lawful rights of workers," the official said.

The two companies have announced that they will raise the workers' benchmark monthly salaries from 850 yuan (124.54 U.S. dollars) per month to 920 yuan per month.

By People's Daily Online