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Stalking High-Tech Sweatshops

...[When Bonnie Nixon-Gardiner, HP program manager for Supply Chain Social & Environmental Responsibility] showed up...to inspect working conditions at...supplier...Foxconn Electronics, a unit of Hon Hai..., [executives] tried to whisk her into a conference room... Nixon-Gardiner...demanded full freedom to walk around... When her hosts resisted, she [told them,]…"Look, this isn't going to work unless you're totally transparent with me"...Nixon-Gardiner has been a...catalyst for an ambitious new effort by the high-tech industry to improve working conditions at suppliers... By 2004, Nixon-Gardiner and her counterparts at Dell, IBM, Intel, and other companies had agreed to create the Electronic Industry Code of Conduct. The EICC sets out basic labor and environmental standards for the industry's contractors... Still, it only goes so far. Unlike the [Fair Labor Association], for instance, the EICC isn't an independent body and to date doesn't conduct random inspections of...factories... HP says allegations of labor problems contributed to its decision to break with three suppliers that didn't make the grade, including...Trigem Computer Inc. Trigem says it wasn't aware of this issue. [also refers to participation in EICC by Cisco, Microsoft, Sony; Nike’s role in creation of Fair Labor Association]