What is the dark side of the IIT

New technology, old exploitation: the anarcho-syndicalist trade union FAU demonstrates in front of the IFA against lousy working conditions at IT companies

"Workers are not machines "and" Re-employment at Chung Hong ", it said on flyers, which 20 activists of the anarcho-syndicalist union Free Workers Union (FAU) distributed last Saturday at the entrance of the IFA electronics fair. They informed the visitors about anti-union practices of the Chinese company Chung Hong in the Polish Tarnobrzeg Special Economic Zone."Article by Peter Nowak in the TAZ from 02.09.2012

Criticism of IT working conditions in Eastern Europe

"After the criticism of the working conditions in hardware production in the last few years had concentrated on China and Mexico, Weed (World Economy, Ecology and Development) devotes its recently published study" Under Pressure "to the situation in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe The report examines the situation in Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic by way of example."Report to Heise-Online from 01.11.2010. See:

  • "Under Pressure - Working Conditions and Economic Development in ICT Production in Central and Eastern Europe"
    The brochure "Under Pressure" has been available in print and online since October 27, 2010. (English; 60 pp.)

Started online petition against exploitation in the computer industry

"Today the European procureITfair campaign is launching an online petition calling on universities to procure IT sustainably. At the same time, the project is publishing a short film that explains working conditions in computer production. ProcureITfair is an association of European non-governmental organizations that advocates the use of uses public procurement to improve working conditions in global computer production. (...) "If public institutions such as universities and technical colleges observe social criteria when purchasing, they can make a decisive contribution to creating decent working conditions worldwide," says Sarah Bormann from WEED Most universities, however, have so far only considered technical criteria in their IT tenders. The online petition "Buy IT Fair" is intended to encourage them to live up to their social responsibility.. "Press release from June 22nd, 2010. The link to the short film can also be found there. See:

  • Petition: Social Responsibility in Computer Procurement
    "... Supports the request of the petition: European HSchools must live up to their social responsibility when buying computers and take social criteria into account in the procurement process. The signatures will be given to universities across Europe when we have gathered more than 10,000 supporters. Support our petition and promote it.. "The common petition page for the campaign.

Foxconn suicide streak

All information can be found under "The protest against the Foxconn hell is expanding ..." in the LabourNet under International> China> Working conditions

Production report: Apple admits child labor

Apple products are also produced by 15 year olds. Apple has now admitted this fact, which also contradicts Chinese law, in a statement of accounts. Article by Ben Schwan in the Taz from March 1st, 2010.See:

  • Supplier responsibility
    The site at Apple. The 2010 report "Supplier Responsibility Progress Report" is linked there

Silicon Sweatshops: The dark side of the IT business

"It looks nice, the high-tech toys that are stacked under our Christmas trees again this year - the latest mobile phone with touchscreen, the desktop bolide with power graphics card and the power consumption of a built-in stove or the hip MacBook in a precision unibody Aluminum housing. These products are sold under the melodious names of large corporations such as Apple, Dell or Asus. However, where and under what conditions the components for these products were manufactured is usually not apparent to the end user. Behind the obligatory "Made in China" stand mostly unpaid overtime, starvation wages, inadequate occupational medical standards and catastrophic labor law conditions. But even in the high-tech forges of Eastern Europe, under the eyes of the EU, sweatshops at third-world level exist. The big IT manufacturers know these problems all too well, but they are doing it little to change the circumstances. What counts is the pr ofit - the blood that sticks to the mainboard or the display doesn't bother much."Article by Jens Berger on Telepolis from December 27th, 2009

Fairly produced cell phones? makeITfair study shows: The mobile phone providers are challenged!

"A new study of the European project makeITfair, which is published today in Germany, has shown that the mobile phone providers have to make their supply chain even fairer. The comparative study" Fair mobile phones on offer? "Shows that many providers are now committed to to pay attention to fair working conditions in the device production of their suppliers, but still not follow up the implementation of the obligations too little."Press release from Germanwatch with all other links from October 15, 2009

New release: Buy IT fair - guidelines for the socio-ecological procurement of computers and campaign material

"The guideline" Buy IT fair "published by WEED, ver.di and the network ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, now shows how public tenders can be made in compliance with labor law and environmental standards For the IT industry, the guide contains specific formulation suggestions and tips for legally compliant public tendering of computers. From the content: The dark side of the digital world; criteria for socio-ecological procurement; legal framework for socio-ecological procurement; proposals for implementing the tender."All further information and order and download options on the PCGlobal website from the association WEED - World Economy, Ecology & Development e.V.

Good job in the telecommunications and IT sectors

The first comprehensive study of working conditions in the telecommunications and IT sectors is now available. According to the principles of the "DGB-Index Gute Arbeit", the quality of work was scientifically examined in both sectors. The study "Working conditions in the telecommunications and IT industry", which was created by Input Consulting, was presented by Department 9 in week 10. All links to the study on the ver.di special page

Report criticizes exploitation in the IT industry

"The US human rights organization National Labor Committee (NLC) has submitted a comprehensive report on inhumane working conditions at the keyboard manufacturer "Dongguan Meitai Plastics & Electronics Factory" in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong. The working hours there are regularly over 80 hours a week. From their hourly wages of just under 60 cents, the workers - mostly young women between the ages of 18 and 25 - are deducted a part for board and lodging, they are then paid around 30 cents per hour. The goods manufactured there are supplied to IBM, Microsoft, Dell, Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard... "Report to Heise-Online from 02.15.2009. See:

  • High Tech Misery in China: The Dehumanization of Young Workers Producing Our Computer Keyboards
    The study by the National Labor Committee, February 2009

Work in the sweatshop: PC production in China

"The conditions under which Chinese workers produce in the computer industry are inadequate. Despite legal regulations on working hours, accommodation and health protection, millions of Chinese migrant workers have to hire themselves under inhumane conditions. At a press conference in Berlin yesterday, two activists from the organization SACOM (Students and Scholars against Corporate Misbehavior) from Hong Kong presented the results of the study "The Dark Side of Cyberspace - Inside the Sweatshops of China's Computer Hardware Production." German manufacturers also use parts from their production ..."Article by Helmut Merschmann on Telepolis from December 16, 2008. See:

  • The Dark Side of Cyberspace
    The study carried out by WEED and SACOM in the supplier factories Compeq and Excelsior reveals massive labor law violations in the IT production there. Both companies supply Fujitsu Siemens Computers, DELL and Lenovo. The study is available from PC-Global

Fear instead of freedom in the IT industry - total coverage of Indian IT professionals

"The working group for data storage concentrates on state surveillance in Germany. What international companies such as Accenture, Bosch, Dell and IBM are doing, gets out of sight. These companies' obsession with surveillance knows no bounds Skilled workers: those who are not compliant or who do not allow themselves to be exploited by the same company for long enough are punished with the annihilation of their professional existence."Contribution to" Resource Rebellion - Critical Sociology of Software Development " from 09/28/2008

The workers in cell phone factories have no voice while we are on the phone

"A study published today by the European makeITfair campaign scratches the shiny image of the electronics industry. The study reveals appalling working conditions in Asian cell phone factories: young workers handle chemicals without protective clothing, work excessive overtime to meet their basic needs and are punished for faulty production Protests are often brutally suppressed in the export production zones in some Asian countries where the companies are located, and the companies examined supply their products to all major cell phone companies."Press release from Germanwatch and Consumer Initiative from 09/24/2008. See also

"Digital handicraft" - A documentary film scratches the image of the computer industry

"The consumers here have to learn a lot more about the working conditions of the computer", demands the Chinese sociologist Jenny Chan on the occasion of the premiere of the film "Digitale Handarbeit" on November 21, 2007 in Cologne. "Most of the Chinese workers in the contact companies for the multinational corporations suffer from extreme working conditions and exposure to toxic substances," said the activist from SACOM (Students and Scholars against Corporate Misbehavior), who helped produce the film."Article by Mona Grosche on telepolis from 11/26/2007

  • "Digital Handicraft - China's World Computer Factory"
    The filmmaker Alexandra Weltz produced a documentary about the global production of computers in cooperation with WEED. There is now a trailer for this at PC global

Ways out of the dumping trap: The price war on the computer market and the potential of socio-ecological public purchasing "

"Ways out of the dumping trap" gives an overview of the sales strategies of the IT trade and discusses the potential of a public procurement policy based on social and ecological objectives. A fierce battle for market shares is raging in the computer trade, which is mainly carried out through dumping offers. Workers in the production zones of industry and the environment suffer because the pressure to reduce costs is passed on to the brand manufacturers and there in turn to the suppliers. In the first part, the brochure analyzes the connections between price wars and cheap wages and in the second part goes into detail on public procurement as a possible alternative. The perspective is developed of how the federal, state and local authorities - who buy about a fifth of the PCs - could use their market power to support sustainability goals by consciously orienting procurement policy towards social and ecological goals. Existing initiatives are presented and further possible measures shown. "From the content:" Made around the World "- how the PC is produced; How the PC gets to the customer: Price war and sales strategies in IT retail; Public procurement between price -Dumping and socio-ecological control; On the way to the fair computer: existing initiatives and "dynamic procurement". Authors: Florian Butollo, Tine Laufer, Daniel Zettler. Nominal fee: EUR 2.00 (WEED members EUR 1.50) plus shipping costs; 33 pages. To be ordered from PC-Global, but it is also available as a free download to disposal.

System error. The dark side of global computer production

The brochure "System Error" offers an overview of the dark side of the industry and discusses approaches for change. The production network of the computer industry today spans the whole world, entire branches of production have been outsourced from the countries of the north to suppliers in low-wage areas, each of whom purchase individual parts from other suppliers. In low-wage countries in particular, the working conditions for the mostly female employees are devastating: insecure working conditions, low wages, unpaid overtime and unhealthy working conditions shape their everyday work. Working hours of more than 80 hours a week are not uncommon during peak production times. The legal position of workers is precarious, as existing labor laws are often circumvented or only apply to a limited extent, such as in the special economic zones of China. The social and ecological problems of raw material extraction, production and scrapping of computers are discussed and perspectives for labor rights and environmental justice in the industry are presented. From the content: The globalization of computer production: The outsourcing and relocation of production; When work makes you sick: Detrimental to health, insecure and poorly paid - the situation of those employed in computer production; A look into the computer: raw materials and the problems of their extraction; The disposal problem: high-tech boom and electronic waste; Strategies for labor rights and environmental justice. Authors: Florian Butollo, Tine Laufer; Nominal fee: EUR 2.00 (WEED members EUR 1.50) plus shipping costs; Berlin, March 2008, 30 pages. To be ordered from PC-Global, but it is also available as a free download to disposal.

Deadly computer junk

Tons of computer waste are illegally sold abroad in order to extract valuable metals. Trade is lucrative for the West, while the Third World is left with the poison. Article by Thomas Soltau in the FTD from June 25, 2008

Ericsson and Telenor apologize for child labor at suppliers

"The Scandinavian telecommunications companies Ericsson and Telenor have admitted child labor to suppliers in Bangladesh and apologized for it. Both companies confirmed information in a Danish TV documentary According to a report by Danish documentary filmmaker Tom Heinemann, children worked eleven hours a day for a dollar wage in the factories. Workers assembled the masts, which were up to 75 meters high, without any safety precautions."Article on Heise-News from May 14th, 2008

Child labor and human rights violations in the IT industry

makeITfair reveals: Electronics companies are doing too little to improve the mining conditions of the metals they process. Germanwatch press release dated November 27, 2007. See:

  • makeITfair
    "makeITfair" is a European project on corporate responsibility in information technology (IT). Non-governmental organizations from Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Poland as well as from the Congo, India and China work together. The main aim is to make adolescents and young adults aware of problems in the IT industry. The project focuses on products such as cell phones, laptops, computers, iPods and MP3 players. The focus of the first year is on the raw materials processed in the IT industry as well as human rights, social and ecological problems in connection with their promotion. "The (German-language) project page with all the important links at Germanwatch

High-tech sweatshops in China. Labor rights in international competition for locations

The publication "High-Tech Sweatshops in China. Labor Rights in International Competition for Locations and the Perspective of Corporate Social Responsibility" documents interviews with NGO activists from China, which are supplemented by background articles. The topics are the Chinese migrant workers as new work subjects, the strategies of labor NGOs to improve the work situation in the high-tech sweatshops and the experience with corporate social responsibility. See:

  • Special page for the brochure at WEED
  • Ordering options at WEED
    The brochure was published by WEED - Weltwirtschaft, Ökologie & Entwicklung e.V., Bonn, September 2007, 70 pages. Nominal fee: EUR 4.00 (WEED members EUR 3.00) plus shipping costs. ISBN: 978-3-937383-51-4. Order options on the WEED website
  • "We have to build the labor movement in China!"
    Interview by Alexandra Weltz with May Wong (Globalization Monitor, China / Hong Kong) In a translation from English by Eva Völpel, exclusively on LabourNet Germany. We thank the publisher!

Invisible Costs: Unequal Distribution of Environmental Risks in the Global Computer Industry

The publication "Invisible Costs. Unequal Distribution of Ecological Risks in the Global Computer Industry" tries to show the connection between social and ecological conflicts along the value chain of a computer. Various initiatives and campaigns will be presented, which work locally and globally for ecologically and socially sustainable computer production. See:

  • Special page for the brochure at WEED
  • Order options at WEED
    The brochure was published by WEED - Weltwirtschaft, Ökologie & Entwicklung eV, Bonn, authors: Soenke Zehle, Lotte Arndt, Sarah Bormann, August 2007, 48 pages nominal fee: EUR 4.00 (WEED members EUR 3.00) plus shipping costs . Order options on the WEED website
  • The production process: clean and socially acceptable?
    The excerpt from the brochure "Invisible Costs" includes the 4th chapter, which analyzes the production process from the perspective of environmental justice, exclusively in LabourNet Germany. We thank the publisher!

Illegal Codes of Conduct. The fairly produced notebook is a long way off, company codes have almost no effect

"Unreasonable working conditions prevail in the suppliers to the computer industry, which are mostly not compatible with national labor law. Industry codes of conduct that were created to reassure consumers are much more lax. Despite this poor initial situation, the Öko-Institut recently investigated the possibility of bringing a "fair" computer onto the market. "Article by Jutta Blume from December 8th, 2006 at telepolis. See also:

  • The "fair" notebook. Socially compatible computers are possible / A new study by the Öko-Institut shows how it works
    Press release from the Öko-Institut
  • Social impact of notebook production. Contribution to the development of a product sustainability analysis 10 (PROSA)
    Study by Andreas Manhart and Dr. Rainer Grießhammer, Öko-Institut e.V., from November 2006
  • See also on LabourNet: Discussion> Everyday Work> General Working Conditions> Pros and Cons of Social Clauses

Health hazards and exploitation in cell phone factories

"That covers the deplorable conditions in Asian cell phone factories Dutch organization SOMO (center for research on multinational corporations). During on-site inspections, the experts from the non-governmental organization discovered various irregularities. In some manufacturing plants, workers are exposed to highly toxic substances without proper protection; elsewhere, employees are paid well below the minimum wage or are illegally forced to work long hours of overtime. Union suppression and degrading treatment complete the picture. "Report on Heise-Mobil from November 28, 2006. See also:
The High Cost of Calling: Critical Issues in the Mobile Phone Industry
The investigation by Joseph Wilde and Esther de Haan, published by SOMO - Center for Research on Multinational Corporations from November 2006

Increased cancer risk in computer and chip manufacturing

"A study into the increased risk of computer and chip manufacturing employees to develop and die from cancer was finally published two years later in the journal Environmental Health. Author Richard Clapp of the School of Public Health at the Boston University had created the epidemiological study in connection with lawsuits filed by former employees against IBM in 2003. They had attributed their illness to cancer-causing substances to which they were exposed while at work."Message on Heise-News from October 21, 2006 with further links

iPod Production: Modern Slavery in China

"The Apple iPod is made in Longhua by 200,000" workers "who toil 15 hours a day, 6 days a week for 40 euros a month. Is that the modern slave trade when 200,000 workers are kept like slaves in the Chinese city of Longhua are not allowed to have visitors in the 100 berths and work 6 days a week after 15 hours in order not to receive more than 40 euros in wages at the end of the month? .."Article by valter on network IT with further links from 08/21/2006. See also:

  • iPod producer withdraws high claim for damages
    "After a storm of indignation in China, iPod manufacturer Foxconn withdrew its high compensation claim against two journalists who denounced poor working conditions at its plant Million yuan (the equivalent of 3 million euros) now only symbolically demand one yuan (10 cents), but the lawsuit will not be abandoned "to clear Hon Hai's name," said a spokesman."Message on the heise newsticker dated 08/31/2006

  • Apple's iPod production conditions under fire
    Article on heise-online from 06/15/2006. There is also the link to the article in the British newspaper "Mail on Sunday"
  • Report on iPod Manufacturing
    Apple's opinion from 08/17/2006

Think different - Pressure Apple! WEED attacks Apple for the catastrophic working conditions in iPod production

"In the last two weeks there have been increasing reports of the catastrophic working conditions at the Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn in Shenzen / China. Some of the employees are not allowed to sit for hours of work, they have to work up to 15 hours a day, the pay is below that statutory minimum wage and housing is poor. In total, around 200,000 employees are affected who also manufacture the Apple iPod in "iPod City", the largest electronics factory in the world. " WEED press release - World Economy, Ecology & Development e.V. from June 29, 2006. See:

  • Think different - Pressure Apple!
    The very readable and introductory article by Sarah Bormann With many informative links, for example to the article in the British newspaper Daily Mirror "Welcome to iPod City", to the very extensive report "CSR issues in the ICT hardware manufacturing sector" by Irene Schipper and Esther de Haan from September 2005, to statements from Apple etc.
  • Report: Russian journalists visit Foxconn's iPod producer
    Journalists from the Russian IT website ixbt.com published a report in May 2005 on Foxconn's visit to Longhua, Shenzen in China. The report was translated into German by Pikria Kolbe and Anatoliy Pozhoha and is in the original (Russian; the link can be found at the beginning of the article) illustrated with photos that you took with a hidden camera.
  • Working conditions in the global PC industry - high-tech sweatshops in the PC industry - the violation of labor and human rights
    "In global PC hardware production, there are relatively similarly organized production processes and working conditions. The manufacture of semiconductor disks, motherboards, hard disks, but also mice, keyboards, screens and batteries is determined by labor-intensive and, at the same time, high-tech manufacturing processes The assembly of PCs, notebooks and electronic components takes place almost exclusively in low-wage countries such as Mexico, China, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia, Philippines and Malaysia. Typical features are Taylorist mass production (assembly line work), modern high-tech equipment in factories, increasing vertical integration The reality of the employees in these production facilities suggests the term 'high-tech sweatshop', which refers to the simultaneity of modern high-tech production processes, labor-intensive production steps in high-tech production and sweat shop. Conditions as they are known, among other things, for the global textile industry. "Lecture by Florian Becker held as part of the workshop discussion "PC global" on April 12, 2006 in Cologne
  • Trade union approaches to global solidarity between employees
    ". The electronics industry and its suppliers are relatively well researched, but very poorly organized. This also and especially applies to the PC industry. This weakness or non-existence of trade union approaches does not only apply to the East Asian / Chinese world center of PC production Suppliers, but also for the USA, UK and Ireland or Hungary as a European production base for contract manufacturers etc.. "Theses by Wolfgang Müller, IG Metall Bayern, presented at the workshop discussion "PC global" on April 12, 2006 in Cologne
  • Lines of connection between work, ecology and migration
    Theses by Soenke Zehle (Center for Transcultural Media Studies, Saarland University), presented at the workshop discussion "PC global" on April 12, 2006 in Cologne