Multinational Corporations have been shipping jobs overseas where people, including children, are forced to work as much as fifteen hours per day, seven days a week, for as little as $1.61 per month, some suffering torture, beatings, and verbal abuse. It appears that our government and corporations may have been guilty of looking the other way all in the name of profits.
Samsung Electronics Co. is accused by a labor rights group of mistreating workers in China and illegally using child labor. The New York based-China Labor Watch said its investigation into workplace conditions at eight factories in China showed some employees were working more than 100 hours per month of overtime and that children were knowingly employed. The group also accused Samsung of barring workers from sitting during their shifts and said it had documented instances of physical and verbal abuse.
Recently an American purchaser of a product made in China discovered a letter from a Chinese laborer pleading for help. The Chinese laborer wrote that thousands of people in "labor camps" are forced to work in factories where conditions are inhumane. The letter reads,
Sir, if you occasionally buy this product, please kindly resend this letter to the World Human Right['s] Organization....People who work here have to work 15 hours a day without Saturday, Sunday break and any holidays. Otherwise, they will suffer torturement, beat and rude remark. Nearly no payment (10 yuan/1 month).
That translates to about $1.61 a month. It is worth mentioning that the author of the letter may have risked his life in getting this letter out in the product's packaging. No one knows if the author is still alive since the letter is well over a year old now.
Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch, commented that the description was consistent with their research. "I think it is fair to say the conditions described in the letter certainly conform to what we know about conditions in re-education through labor camps."
This is not the first time a letter like this has turned up. Just this week, another plea was found written in Chinese on a toilet seat and posted on Reddit. Tech companies, like Apple and Hewlett Packard, received a great deal of criticism and have publicly stated that they are aware of the harsh conditions in China.
Can American CEOs of Multinational Corporations justify such inhumane treatment of other human beings for annual compensations of as much as $131 million?