China Labour Bulletin has written to major electronics companies, including Apple, Nokia and Motorola, urging them to investigate reports of excessive overtime, management abuse and the firing of striking workers at Wintek Dongguan Masstop, one of their major suppliers in China.
An investigation by Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM) showed that employees at Dongguan Masstop, part of the Taiwan-based Wintek Group, were forced to work more than 100 hours overtime each month (including public holidays) so that the factory could fulfill its orders. Those who refused to work additional hours were given a demerit and fined 60 yuan.
According to China’s Labour Law, employees can work a maximum of 36 hours overtime a month. Moreover, employees should be compensated by at least 150 percent of their regular wage for overtime during the workweek, 200 percent on the weekends, and 300 percent on national holidays. Dongguan Masstop routinely underpaid its employees for overtime work, the report stated.
On 15-17 April 2009, over a thousand employees staged a strike protesting the non-payment of overtime as well as the appalling quality of the food served at the company canteen which had already poisoned around one hundred workers. Management responded by sacking 19 strikers.
CLB urges multinational corporations that buy components from Dongguan Masstop to take urgent action to ensure that all of China’s labour laws are rigorously adhered to at the facility, and pressure the company to introduce mechanisms by which employee grievances can be resolved through peaceful negotiation with management without the need for strike action.
CLB’s open letter, in support of SACOM and the workers at Dongguan Masstop, to the directors of corporate social responsibility at Wintek, Apple, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, Lenovo and Huawei, and the director of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) is available as a PDFin English here, and in Chinese here.