Microsoft To Probe Conditions In China Plant

The National Labor Committee used this photo at the top of its report alleging harsh working conditions at a China factory that makes Microsoft mice and other accessories. (Credit: National Labor Committee)
Microsoft says it will investigate reports of poor working conditions at a factory in southern China that makes some of its products.

A nonprofit that looks into the treatment of foreign workers by U.S. companies published a report Tuesday detailing long working hours, low pay, insufficient food and few freedoms for workers at the KYE Systems Corp. factory in Dongguan, China.

In a blog post, Microsoft's vice president of manufacturing and operations, Brian Tobey, said that a team of independent auditors was headed to the KYE factory. The software maker says it already does annual inspections at KYE. The KYE factory makes Microsoft-brand Webcams, computer mice and Xbox controllers.

"Despite these earlier findings, we take the allegations raised this week quite seriously," Tobey said. He added that Microsoft plans to conduct another comprehensive on-site audit of the facility next week to investigate 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."