TAIPEI, Taiwan — Hourly wages below a dollar. Firings with no notice. Indifferent bosses. Labor brokers that leech away months of a worker's hard-earned wages. A corporate shell game that leaves no one responsible.
Such conditions are widespread at the contract factories cranking out some of the most popular gadgets on the holiday season's gift lists, according to labor rights activists and workers interviewed by GlobalPost.
Whether it's your cherished iPhone, Nokia cell phone or Dell keyboard, it was likely made and assembled in Asia by workers who have few rights, and often toil under sweatshop-like conditions, activists say.
By the time a gadget reaches Apple's flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City or any other U.S. retailer, it may have passed through the hands of a heavily indebted Filipina migrant worker on the graveyard shift in Taiwan, a Taiwanese "quality control" worker who'll soon be fired without warning, and a young Chinese worker clocking 80-hour weeks on a final assembly line, at less than a dollar an hour.
Read the rest at: GlobalPost.com
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