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USA: Comptroller & pension funds call on Dell, Intel & Motorola to follow example set by other companies & adopt supply chain policies recognising workers’ rights

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9 February 2012

Liu Calls on Dell, Intel, Motorola to hold suppliers responsible

Author: Bloomberg

Comptroller John C. Liu and the New York City Pension Funds called on Dell, Intel, and Motorola [Solutions] to follow the example set by other tech giants who have adopted their shareholder effort to increase their suppliers’ compliance with internationally-recognized standards of human and worker rights. Apple, Hewlett Packard, and Microsoft all recently adopted new policies after discussions with the Comptroller’s office and the Pension Funds...“As long term investors we must be concerned about financial risk as well as alignment with basic values. We have a responsibility to ensure that the profits and products that result from free trade are not created by the exploitation of workers in sweat shops, child labor, indentured slavery or other violations of human rights.” [Comptroller Liu said].[also refers to Foxconn (part of Hon Hai)]

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16 January 2012

China's Foxconn workers: from suicide threats to a trade union?

Author: Lijia Zhang, Guardian [UK]

[I]n Wuhan, in central China's Hubei province…up to 200 workers from the Microsoft Xbox production line of Foxconn (part of Hon Hai)…a major supplier of Apple…staged a strike...[and] threatened to kill themselves…In 2010…18 of their colleagues…did attempt suicide; 14 died. Some employees and labour organisations blamed a combination of factors for the workers' deaths: low wages, long working hours – sometimes up to 16 hours a day – and inhuman treatment...[However,] migrant workers [are] beginning to resist…This year, there has been a wave of factory revolts across six provinces in China…in southern China's Guangdong province…villagers staged well-organised protests…The intensive standoff ended…when top provincial leaders agreed to some of their demands...I hope China's leaders will really listen to the farmers, opening up more channels for them to express their grievances, and allowing some kind of independent labour union or at least a collective bargaining mechanism to ease the conflicts. And ultimately, they'll have to grant the same rights to those who make gadgets...[also refers to Honda]

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