Working to Ensure the Fair Treatment of Workers in Our Manufacturing and Supply Chain

Posted by Brian Tobey 
Corporate Vice President, Manufacturing and Operations, Entertainment and Devices

(Cross-posted from The Official Microsoft Blog)

As a company that sells a wide range of hardware and devices, we take very seriously our corporate responsibility to ensure that the manufacturing facilities and supply chain operations that we use comply with all relevant labor and safety requirements and ensure fair treatment of workers.  We have rigorous standards in place, and have established a robust supplier Social and Environmental Accountability (SEA) program.

We were therefore very concerned when we saw a report by the National Labor Committee (NLC) allegingthat conditions at a factory operated by KYE in Dongguan, China, were adversely impacting workers.  KYE assembles and packages hardware products for Microsoft and a wide range of other companies.

As a result of this report, we have a team of independent auditors en route to the facility to conduct a complete and thorough investigation.  If we find that the factory is not adhering to our standards, we will take appropriate action.

We should note that as part of Microsoft’s ongoing supplier SEA program, an independent auditor has been inspecting the KYE factory annually.  In addition, Microsoft personnel conduct quarterly on-site assessments, and receive weekly reports from KYE on key labor and safety criteria that we monitor as part of our supplier SEA program.  Over the past two years, we have required documentation and verification of worker age, and no incidence of child labor has been detected.  Worker overtime has been significantly reduced, and worker compensation is in line with the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition standards for the Dongguan area.

Despite these earlier findings, we take the allegations raised this week quite seriously. Another comprehensive on-site audit of the facility will be conducted next week, with a specific goal of investigating the allegations raised in the NLC report.  In addition, we will have monitors on site pending the results of the inspection.

We will take all appropriate steps to ensure the fair treatment of the KYE workers.

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