VTech Sweatshop in China: AT&T, Motorola, Wal-Mart and others endorse the China model
"Dongguan is about as well-known as Foxconn in Shenzhen...Plenty of workers live worse lives than those who work at Foxconn."
"If things continue to go like this, there will be more jumpers."
Sign petition letter. Send a letter to AT&T, Motorola, Wal-Mart, Sony, Philips and Deutsche Telekom.
2.8 Million Jobs Lost
as U.S. Trade Deficit with China Reaches $295.5 billion!
By Charles Kernaghan
|“China is also shifting its exports toward higher-technology products like telecommunications gear and power plant turbines. So an expansion in Chinese exports could also displace sizable numbers of workers in the United States, Europe and Japan who produce goods similar to those from China.”
The New York Times
June 1, 2012, Keith Bradsher
The U.S. trade deficit with China reached $295.46 billion in 2011, costing of 2.8 million jobs in the United States. In May 2012, Chinese exports to the U.S. soared by 23% from a year earlier.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, no phones have been manufactured in the United States since 2008.
In fact, China has become the world’s largest manufacturer and exporter of telephones, including cell phones, cordless and corded phones, and telecommunications apparatus. In 2010, China exported $29.7 billion worth of phones, up 35.8 percent since 2009.
In the U.S., there are still approximately 28,760 workers involved in manufacturing communications equipment. The hourly mean wage for these U.S. telecommunications workers is $16.85 an hour and $134.80 for an eight-hour day. These wages are 15 ½ times higher than the wages at VTech in China. The Chinese workers earn just 6 ½ percent of what U.S. workers earn. The wage differential is even more pronounced when you include benefits in the U.S.
This report is about the lives of VTech employees in China, who toil under cruel, inhumane and illegal sweatshop conditions, stripped of any democratic or union rights, and with no way out of the jail of repression they are in.
This report on VTech is also a story about the race to the bottom and the hollowing out of U.S. manufacturing jobs, as massive sweatshop operations like VTech in China become the largest suppliers of cordless phones in the world. VTech is also the leading manufacturer of corded and cordless phones in North America, controlling over 50 percent of sales. Founded in 1976, VTech now has over $1.785 billion in revenues and operates in 75 countries across the world.
|The “AT&T Answering System with 2 cordless handsets” was “Made in China” by sweatshop workers forced to work 12 to 15 hours a day for $1.09 an hour at the VTech factory. The AT&T phone retails for $59.95 at Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer.|
VTech (Dongguan) Telecommunications Limited
VTech is headquartered in Hong Kong with manufacturing facilities in the city of Dongguan, in Guangdong Province. Our main research focus was on the Dongguan VTech Communications Company, where 10,000 workers manufacture cordless and corded phones, phone components, circuit boards and interactive electronic learning systems for kids. However, working conditions and wages are the same for the 10,000 workers at the Dongguan VTech Electronic Telecommunication factory in Liaobu and the VTech Houjie Factory, which produces mainly children’s electronic learning products.
How the Research Was Done
The investigation was initiated by the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights which contracted with a private for-profit professional business research firm in Guangdong. As per our agreement, we will not disclose the name of the consulting firm for reasons of confidentiality.
- VTech in China has licensing agreements with AT&T and Motorola. VTech is the world’s largest manufacturer of cordless phones and is the leading supplier of corded and cordless phones in North America. VTech is an exclusive supplier for Deutsche Telekom and Telstra in Australia. VTech also produces infants’ and children’s electronic learning products and is a major original equipment manufacturer for Sony and Philips.
- VTech telephones are sold in the U.S. at Wal-Mart, Target, Staples, Sears and other retailers.
- In fiscal year 2012, VTech’s revenues reached $1.785 billion.
Thirty thousand workers at VTech’s three plants in Guangdong, China are held under deplorable and illegal sweatshop conditions.
- Workers told us: “The company treats us the way a slave driver treats his slaves,” and “security guards often beat the workers.”
- Another worker explained, “Sometimes I want to die. I work like hell every day for such a dull life. I want to find a reason to live. Given that living is so tiring, seeking death might not be a silly thing!”
- Many young workers at VTech have leapt to their deaths rather than continue with the cruel and nasty treatment. “If things continue to go like this, there will be more jumpers.”
- Mandatory 12 to 15-hour shifts, from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 or 10:30 p.m., six days a week. Workers are at the factory 74 to 77 hours a week, while working 68 to 71 hours, including 28 to 31 hours of obligatory overtime.
- Workers are forced to stand all day. It is exhausting, and their feet swell up.
- Every 11.25 seconds a circuit board moves down the assembly line, and each worker must plug in four to five pieces — one operation every 2.25 to 2.8 seconds. The workers do this all day, all week, all month and all year.
- Workers who fail to meet their mandatory production goals are forced to remain working, without pay, until the goal is set.
- Workers earn a below-subsistence wage of just $1.09 an hour. One worker told us: “I’m afraid I’ll never make a decent living in my life.”
- Eight workers are housed in each primitive dorm room, sleeping on narrow plywood bunk beds. Workers report, “It’s filthy, like living in a pigsty.” The workers use small plastic buckets to fetch water to take a sponge-bath. Summer temperatures exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit, leaving the workers dripping in their own sweat all night.
- “The food is awful,” workers told us. Pictures smuggled out of the factory cafeteria show the “coarse yellow rice” and rotten potatoes served to the workers.
- VTech workers are cheated in broad daylight of millions of dollars in social security benefits due them under China’s laws.
- Management illegally traps the workers. Conditions are so miserable that 80 percent of VTech employees try to flee the factory each year. But if a worker leaves, they will have to forfeit a full month’s wages, including all the grueling mandatory overtime hours.
- Workers handle a lot of thinners, used to clean the circuit boards, but have no knowledge as to whether or not the substances they are handling are toxic and could harm them.
- Phones are no longer manufactured in the United States.
- In 2011, the U.S. trade deficit with China soared to $295.5 billion. At least 2.8 million jobs have been lost in the U.S. due to China’s unfair trade practices since 2001.
- In the last 12 months, ending May 31, 2012, China’s exports to the U.S. have skyrocketed by 23 percent!
|At VTech, workers stand 12 to 15 hours a day, racing to meet excessive production goals as they make phones for AT&T, Motorola, Wal-Mart and VTech Electronic learning tablets for kids, including “V.Reader” and “Storio” for Europe.|
|AT&T and VTech phones manufactured in China and sold at Wal-Mart.|
VTech in China likes to brag that two of its products — which include cordless and corded phones and even infant and children’s electronic learning games — are sold every second by companies and retailers across the U.S. and the world, such as AT&T, Motorola, Wal-Mart and others. It is impressive that VTech sells 172,800 products every day, and 63 million every year across 75 countries. How can you not be impressed? VTech has been in operation for over 35 years and, in its three plants in Dongguan city alone, there are nearly 30,000 workers. In May 2012, VTech announced annual revenues of $1.785 billion.
But if you stop to think about it, over these 35 years, have we ever heard from even one VTech worker in China? No, we haven’t, and we have no idea how many hours they work or what they are paid. We do not know how they live or what their hopes are. They are human beings just like us, but we are walled off.
This cannot be by chance. Manufacturers like VTech, phone companies like AT&T and retailers like Wal-Mart do not want us to know. The less we know about China’s workers — in terms of hours, wages, health and safety, the right to organize, and respect for human and worker rights — the better it is for the corporations.
The truth is when we purchase these phones, circuit boards and electronic children’s games made at VTech in China, we do so with 100 percent certainty that we know nothing.
Suppose your 18-year-old daughter worked at VTech in China producing circuit boards.
Your daughter would be forced to work standing for her entire 12- to 15-hour mandatory shift, from 7:30 in the morning to 7:30 or even 10:30 in the evening. Her feet would swell up and she would be in constant pain.
The production line never stops moving and your daughter would have just 11.25 seconds to plug four to five pieces into each circuit board. She has to complete one operation every 2.25 to 2.8 seconds! Furiously non-stop, she races through the same mind-numbing motions. This goes on all day. In one hour she must complete 1,286 to 1,600 operations, plugging pieces into the ever moving circuit boards. In her regular eight-hour shift, she will have plugged in 10,286 to 12,800 pieces.
All overtime is strictly mandatory and the workers toil at least three hours overtime each day. In the standard 11 hours of work, your daughter would have completed 14,146 to 17,600 operations.
She would do this six days a week, working 66 hours, to complete 84,876 to 105,600 operations non-stop as circuit boards race by.
In a month, your daughter would have completed 367, 796 to 457, 600 operations, always standing, always the same motions.
If she made it through the year, she would have completed 4,413,552 to 5,491,200 operations, all exactly the same.
It gets even worse. When workers must race to reach their mandatory production goal of completing four to five operations in just 11.25 seconds, inevitably they make mistakes. This happens often. Supervisors then confiscate the workers’ time cards and punch them out as if their shift were over, only to keep them working without pay for another one or two hours, until the production goal is reached.
|Every hour, 320 circuit boards move down the assembly line as exhausted workers race to complete one operation every 2.25 to 2.8 seconds.|
|The workers must stand for the entire 12-to-15-hour shift. Their feet swell with pain.||Despite the 12-to-15-hour shifts, workers must report early to work, stand at attention and listen to a motivational lecture from their supervisor.|
|Exhausted, workers race back after lunch to sleep for 15-20 minutes.|
Workers at VTech Refer to Themselves at Slaves
Workers told us: “The company treats us the way a slave driver treats his slaves.”
Company security guards patrol both assembly lines and workshops. “The company often utilizes the security guards as if they were ‘factory police,’” workers say. “The company uses the guards to impose a dictatorship on the workers.”
Workers are searched when they enter or leave the factory. Their bags and knapsacks are opened and searched by the guards. Workers are also “body searched” with handheld scanners.
According to the workers, “security guards often beat the workers.” Most often the beatings take place outside of the production areas, at the gatehouse. If the guards suspect workers of violating company rules, they will beat them.
On May 25, 2010, a worker argued with guards at the security gate check about the guards’ rude behavior. Later, at the end of the shift, “the worker was beaten by three security guards.”
In the course of the investigation, even the professional research consultants told us that they were “shocked by the overall high stress levels and the deep sense of depression the workers felt and described.”
If a monkey were forced to work like this, animal rights advocates would rightfully complain and many people would rally to stop such abuse. But for the young Chinese workers, it is fine and there is no popular outcry by the American or European consumers.
The work is furious, mind-numbing, exhausting, meaningless and poorly paid. Bathroom breaks are monitored. Management makes the workers stand all day, believing that it will increase production. It is one hell of a life.
The only break your daughter will receive is during the afternoon lunch period when she gets to eat some coarse rice and visibly rotten potatoes.
And at night, when she finishes her 12- to 15-hour shift, she can return to her dorm and queue up to wait her turn to take a sponge bath, using a small plastic bucket to splash water on herself. Finally she can climb into her bunk bed and rest lying on a piece of plywood. If it is summer, she will sweat all night in the over 90 degree humid temperatures common in the south of China.
The Wal-Martization of our souls is a terrible thing. If we do not speak up for exploited workers in China and elsewhere, we will find ourselves trapped and alone, as our humanity fades away.
|Security guards — acting as a private police force — patrol both assembly lines and workshops. Workers report being frequently beaten.||Workers photographed the coarse yellow rice and rotten potatoes served at VTech’s cafeteria.|
|VTech workers live in crowded, primitive dorms.||There are no showers at VTech. Workers fill small plastic buckets with water to bathe.|
VTech is run like a prison
Management issues “Employee Criminal Records,” handing out demerits, warnings and stiff fines to punish offender workers.
For a “mistake,” a worker was docked 29.3 hours’ wages. Another worker dared take a day off and was punished with a “major demerit point.”
|(Right) [Translation] “Employee Criminal Record. On May 26, while producing SINUS 205 126 50-8130-002-000-35-8039-002-100, employee ______ had two failed attempts in scanning a barcode, which resulted in tremendous delay […] violating Article 15 of the Employee Handbook. Thus a major demerit point. Pay economic loss of 200 RMB.” [USD $31.60]|
|[Translation] “Employee Criminal Record. “Absence on May 14 (skipping work at his will). Violated Article 26 of the Employee Handbook. A major demerit point.”|
Death and Empty Dreams
After one woman worker jumped to her death at VTech, a young woman told us the following:
“Sometimes I want to die. I work like hell every day for such a dull life. I can’t find a reason to live. Given that living is so tiring, seeking death might not be a silly thing! When I graduated from school, I thought as long as I was willing to work hard and was not afraid of suffering hardship, my life would become better and better. I might become a person of real ability in this country. Now, thinking back, I’m so silly. Every single day, I plug and plug [parts into circuit boards]. Where’s my future? Not to mention the hardship and tiredness. Look, we are all adults. We have already tried very hard, and what you often get are disdainful looks, or we are scolded by supervisors. What a disgrace! My parents never scolded or beat me!”
Bathroom Democracy Breaks Out at VTech
It is only when they are alone in the bathroom that China’s workers can dare speak out without fear of punishment, writing down what they really think of VTech management on the bathroom walls.
- “Don’t be too cocky as managers. One day you’ll die at the factory gate.”
- “Working on New Year’s Day is killing me. [We’re so] screwed over.”
[Note: New Year’s Day is the first day of the Chinese New Year on a lunar calendar. Lunar New Year is as important as Christmas to Christians in the West.]
- “Managers are not human.”
- “Don’t work at VTech.”
- “Comrades, just quit. This place is crooked.”
- “Being yelled at / Long hours / 12 hours standing at work / Stressed out / Can you not be tired?”
There is a new job category at VTech, which is to do the rounds, continually painting bathroom after bathroom to whitewash away the workers’ anger and despair.
The VTech Way: Controlling Workers’ Every Movement
|VTech Factory Punishment Chart|
Reward and Punishment System
Managers who rat on their colleagues are rewarded.
|Like Machines, Their Lives Function to
Meet the Production Needs of the Factory
An anonymous observer of VTech:
“Working accounts for the vast majority of each day. Their lives function to meet the production needs of the factory, as if they are machines, and not flesh and blood. Most of the workers have no idea regarding the potential of their strength. Long hours, the high intensity and pressure of the work, and the constant overtime hours leave the workers without any time or energy to think about fairness and solidarity. Although workers detest the company, most of them lack confidence in unifying against the constant exploitation they face. They cannot voice their grievances publicly so they write down their hatred and anger on the bathroom walls — where they won’t be seen — expressing their resentment against the repression and exploitation. The company’s response is to keep white washing the bathroom walls.
“Many workers resort to resignation and switch to another factory, trying to cope with constant boredom, exhaustion and despair over their life and work. They feel trapped. One young worker who was about to leave the factory told us: ‘If I stay any longer, I’m going to jump off our dorm like the Foxconn workers do.’ Workers have no hope even concerning the future. Company managers tell workers that they can make suggestions and file complaints to management, but the workers do not trust this channel. Most workers have no idea that there is a ‘union’ at the VTech factories, or for that matter what a union is. This despite the fact that there is a sign in the factory that reads ‘union committee.’
“In China the government has suppressed freedom of association. Solidarity and free association among workers are hindered and sabotaged not only by employers but also the government. The Chinese government mandates that the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) is the only legal union. However, the union does not represent workers’ interests or lead workers to fight for their rights. Workers have no hope in the ACFTU despite the fact that the ACFTU keeps claiming to the world that it will soon be reformed.”
When asked what we as Americans can do to help provide solidarity to Chinese workers, our commentator suggested,
“Call on the Chinese government to guarantee freedom of association to its people and on central and local governments to also abide by the core ILO internationally recognized worker rights standards. The government must effectively enforce the country’s labor laws; renounce policies that suppress workers and prevent them from defending their rights; ensure the right to collectively bargain with corporations under the premise of freedom of association and freedom to elect representatives; increase wages and shorten work hours; and ensure work safety.
Something has gone so terribly wrong at VTech’s manufacturing plants in China that it is difficult to know even where to begin to clean up the mess. VTech has a glossy code of conduct, which reads well and guarantees every labor right under the sun. But in reality, these factories are run like prisons, where workers have no rights, no dignity and no voice.
The good news is that there are so many corporations and retailers across North America, Europe and Australia sourcing production at VTech, that these companies have the power to speak out and demand change. Imagine if AT&T, Motorola, Wal-Mart, Sony, Philips, Deutsche Telekom in Germany and Telstra in Australia demanded improvement, this could make a world of difference for VTech’s exploited workers.
- Let workers sit: There is no good reason why VTech workers must stand all day for their mandatory 12- to 15-hour shifts. Workers could sit on stools and get the exact same work done. Standing 12 to 15 hours is exhausting, not to mention the pain of swollen feet.
- Production goals must be reasonable and not wildly excessive: It is common for workers who have failed to reach their production goals to be required to remain working — without pay — for two or more hours until the target is reached. This is illegal and must stop. All overtime work must be strictly voluntary.
- A horrible dynamic has evolved among low- and mid-level supervisors and managers at VTech who treat workers as if they are not quite human. According to the workers: “The company treats us in the way a slave driver treats his slaves.” Security guards act as a police force to punish the workers. Conditions at VTech are so miserable and nasty that 80 percent of workers try to flee each year. Young workers at VTech are also jumping to their deaths rather than remain at VTech. Management at VTech must undergo a complete overhaul to guarantee that supervisors and managers learn to treat workers with respect and dignity.
- Workers refer to their dorms at “filthy, like living in a pigsty.” Management must rehabilitate the dorms so they are fit for human beings.
- Cafeteria food must be drastically improved. The workers deserve more than coarse yellow rice and rotten potatoes.
- VTech management must cease the practice of illegally withholding one full month’s wages, including overtime. Workers desperate to flee from VTech are trapped. If they leave, they will lose their full month’s wages. Workers must be free to leave when they so choose.
- Social security benefits for the workers must be properly paid. Right now it appears that VTech management may be involved in fraud, withholding for months the social security benefits owed the workers.
- VTech workers have the right to know if the thinners they are routinely handling are potentially harmful.
- VTech workers have nowhere to turn for help. The All China Federation of Trade Unions is moribund, playing next to no role in assisting the workers. Nor is the government of China particularly enthusiastic about promoting human, women’s and worker rights or allowing independent unions. Given this reality, VTech management must open a channel, so that workers can be directly in contact with the corporations in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia that source production from VTech. These corporations can play an important role in holding VTech accountable to respect China’s labor laws as well as implementing their corporate codes of conduct.
This would be a small step forward for China’s workers.
|VTech highlights its relationship with AT&T.
||A VTech hiring ad guarantees: “Employees work five days a week, eight hours a day, with paid vacation days, marriage leaves and maternity leave.” Workers report that this is fantasy and a complete lie.|
$1.785 Billion in Revenues in 2012
VTech has licensing agreements with AT&T and Motorola. VTech is also a major original equipment manufacturer for Sony, Philips, Telstra of Australia, Deutsche Telekom in Germany as well as for France, Japan and the United Kingdom.
In the U.S., VTech products are sold at Wal-Mart, Target, Staples, Office Depot, Circuit City, Best Buy, Costco, Sears, Kmart and others.
- U.S. and Canada: “In North America, we [VTech] are the largest player in the market, selling both AT&T and VTech branded products in major retail stores.”
- “North America continued to be the group’s largest market, accounting for 51.1% of Group revenues.”
- VTech is the world’s largest manufacturer of cordless phones.
- VTech is the largest corded phone supplier in North America.
- “Two VTech products are sold every second and 75 countries and regions sell VTech products.”
- “VTech shipped over 45 million headsets in the financial year 2011.”
- “VTech also develops electronic games and toys, including electronic gaming products such as gaming consoles with developmental activities. Its toys and games are developed for children ranging from infants to grade school-aged kids.” (But what VTech cannot teach children in North America and Europe is respect for human and women’s rights, freedom of speech, democracy, caring, empathy, political freedom, or respect for workers’ rights.)
|The Advanced American Telephone Company (AAT)
is not really an American Company.
|AAT is owned by VTech and its phones are made in China at VTech sweatshops. Good old AT&T telephones are no longer made in the United States. They are now made in China. However, AT&T’s revenues have remained strong at $126.7 billion in 2011, with a net income of $4.184 billion.
“Advanced American Telephones (AAT) designs, manufactures and distributes AT&T branded telephone products in the United States and Canada under a brand license agreement with AT&T Intellectual Property II, LP. AAT is owned by VTech holdings Ltd. Vtech is a widely recognized leader in corded and cordless telephones.” (VTech press release, May 2012)
Europe and Australia
VTech is the “exclusive supplier to Deutsche Telekom for all its corded and cordless telephones in Germany.”
“To meet our corporate responsibility worldwide, we regularly review the work of our suppliers directly at their production sites. With these social audits, Deutsche Telekom ensures and promotes compliance with social and climate standards.” (Social Responsibility, Deutsche Telekom)
But, Deutsche Telekom’s commitment to social responsibility is badly failing when it comes to protecting human and worker rights in China.
VTech is “the direct supplier to Telstra for all its fixed line telephones.”
“As a good corporate citizen, Telstra’s responsibility is to manage our business ethically, to produce an overall positive impact on our customers, employees, shareholders and other stakeholders as well as the wider community and the natural environment.” (Sustainability at Telstra)
But Telstra’s sustainability is badly failing when it comes to protecting human and workers’ rights in China.
Other major VTech customers include the United Kingdom, France and Japan.
Young woman cries out for help.
VTech is a place of brutality, blood and tears.
- “We work nonstop, standing, enduring the torture of soreness in our legs and pain in our feet. We don’t know how long we can keep up.”
- “Managers often yell: ‘If you don’t like it here, then get the hell out.’”
“Maybe the boss really doesn’t care about us. It’s like a slave driver treats slaves. They don’t care about the workers.”
- “At a huge corporation like VTech where there are tens of thousands of workers, less than 20 percent of employees stayed last year.”
- “Our voice is so feeble; our power is so weak.”
- “All we hope is that friends with true love and conscience can give us some support, cheer us and fight for us, for the equality and respect we deserve.”
|Standing While Working at VTech; Workers Complain with Tears about Brutality
Author: We Workers Have No Power
Date: March 5, 2011
Last year, consecutive suicide jumps at Foxconn’s Shenzhen plant generated broad attention in the society. In Guangdong Province where worker population is the most condensed, there is often a lack of attention and care by companies regarding workers’ living, working and psychological conditions. Plenty of workers live worse lives than those who work at Foxconn. If Shenzhen Foxconn is a workshop of blood and sweat, then Dongguan VTech is a workshop of blood and tears.
People who have a “basic” understanding of the Pearl River Delta know that VTech in Dongguan is about as well-known as Foxconn in Shenzhen. Both are famous corporations known by everyone. Before the consecutive suicide jumps, job seekers mostly had positive impression of Foxconn. It is not the case for VTech. Many people know standing while working is required at VTech. Workers stand for more than 10 hours a day, over the years, day after day, standing forever. This work environment scares off many job seekers. As a result, VTech has lowered its recruitment standard year by year. Electronics factories typically hire female workers while VTech hires both male and female workers, with a broad age range and no education requirement. Now one only needs an ID to apply. We all know that good factories always have strict and high recruitment standards. I am afraid VTech’s low bar has not matched its image as a well-known corporation.
. . . . In most electronics factories, workers sit while working. No matter if they produce cell-phones, phones, connectors or electronics parts, most likely they sit at work. Also, there is no need to stand while working. We do not understand why VTech requires employees to stand while working and we will never get an answer unless we see the boss in person and ask him. But we would never have such a chance. . . . There are eight employee levels at VTech. Regular workers are all Level 0. Allegedly Level 1 or higher employees have seats just to demonstrate that they enjoy better treatment.
We do have opportunities to communicate our problems and feedback to the company. However, the reply from company management is always: “There are 10,000 workers at this factory, and they all work standing up. Why are you the only one who can’t work standing up?” Of course, the human resources and communications departments are always full of kind and wonderful suggestions like: “Buy a pack of salt and soak your feet” or “don’t wear high heels or leather shoes.”
Some managers show understanding for workers, but there are managers who often yell: “If you can’t stand this, just leave!” or “If you don’t like it here then get the hell out!” At a huge corporation like VTech, where there are tens of thousands of workers, less than 20 percent of employees stayed last year. Most of them resigned before the Chinese New Year. Now most of the employees are new. Workers became “senior” within one month and started training newly hired workers. After a two-day training, newly hired workers were at their posts as “experienced workers.” Every day a few hundred newly hired workers came into the company and a large number of experienced workers left. It was easy to get in; however, if a worker wanted to leave, the company always tried to keep them, claiming there were rush orders and a lack of labor.
In fact what we want is simple: to have a normal, fair and, physically as well as psychologically, non-harmful working environment. This is a little request. Why is it so hard?
Food cost is not included; the quality of food is appalling; overtime is excessive. . . . Maybe the boss really doesn’t care about us. It’s like how a slave driver treats slaves. They don’t care about workers.
I am in tears as I write this post. We know some people would sympathize and understand; some would rail and attack. We are not stupid. Organize a union? Go on strike? File a complaint to a labor agency? Talk to the government? If you were a worker and understood the hardship a regular laborer endures, you would know how far those things are from us and how impractical they are. Our voice is so feeble; our power is so weak. Who would touch those people high up and those interest groups for us? We are a disadvantaged minority group. Our interests are often ignored or sacrificed. Who pays any attention to us? Who tries to understand us? Who cares about us? And who can in reality help us?
Today on behalf of over ten thousand workers who stand at work and all fellow colleagues who came here, went through this, stood here and experienced this, I — a regular worker who entered Dongguan Liaobu VTech VTT department in 2011 — call upon people from all sectors in this society: please show your consideration about working conditions of the workers; and please care more about the living conditions of this minority group. We need your care and support so much!
We don’t know whether there will be a miracle in the future. We work non-stop, standing, enduring the torture of soreness in our legs and pain in our feet. We don’t know how long we can keep up. Our only hope is to hear more support until someone stands up to solve the problems for us. We don’t know how much hope we have. [...] All we hope is that friends with true love and conscience can give us some support, cheer for us, and fight for us for the equality and respect that we deserve!
Written on March 4-5, 2011
- A post from an online forum for migrant workers.
A 19-year old dies at work.
According to VTech management his life was worth just $3139.
|They Are All 19 Years Old
Dongguan Times. October 10, 2010
One suddenly died while working
On October 6 around 7:00 p.m., Liu Xiaoqin, a 19-year-old from the Hunan Province, suddenly died while working at the VTech Electronics Factory in Liaobu Town.
. . . . On October 6 around 7 p.m., the company abruptly notified [worker Liu Xiaolin] that his brother Liu Xiaoqin had been sent to Tonji Guanghua Hospital for emergency resuscitation. He stopped his work and rushed to the hospital.
Liu Xiaolin said that a colleague of his brother’s revealed that Liu Xiaoqin fainted while working in a workroom on the third floor.
His colleagues immediately moved him downstairs and called the company’s dispensary. When doctors from the dispensary arrived, they realized Liu showed very weak vital signs and called 120  for emergency assistance. Then Liu was sent to Tonji Guanghua Hospital for emergency resuscitation.
“My brother had no signs of life when he arrived at the hospital. His body was sent to a funeral home by the company,” said Liu with his eyes tearing up. “My parents have not been able to see my brother’s body.”
Liu’s family approached the company for 500,000 [USD $78,565.50] in compensation. The company was only willing to provide a 20,000 [USD $3,139] humanitarian subsidy.
After being constantly taunted and criticized,
a 20-year-old leaps to his death at VTech.
|Died from suicide jump at a dorm one month into employment
Southern Metropolis. December 28, 2009
In VTech electronics factory, suicide suspected to be caused by company staff’s insults
At 2 a.m. the day before yesterday, a 20-year-old male worker at VTech plant in Liaobu Town leapt from the sixth floor of the company dormitory. He died when medical rescue efforts failed. VTech is one of the largest cordless phone suppliers in the world, with over 10,000 employees. After the worker’s death, the company quickly cleaned up the factory and then went into information lockdown. Employees at the factory have widely different viewpoints as to why the man committed suicide.
VTech electronics factory is located on Guanzhang Road. The company dormitory where the accident happened is right next to the third door. One insider pointed out that around 2 a.m. the day before yesterday, a man suddenly fell down from the sixth floor of dormitory D1, falling into a cement ditch between a wall and trees, on the verge of death. Doctors of Tongju Guanghua Hospital confirmed that they performed emergency rescue at the scene after receiving a call. After more than 10 minutes of emergency rescue efforts, the man died from serious injuries.
Many VTech employees indicated that after the man died, the company washed off the blood stains in a hurry and has banned workers who know from disseminating information. The reporter learned from many insiders that the man had started this job less than one month ago, working on an assembly line. . . .
Yesterday the reporter found that employees at the VTech factory have widely different viewpoints as to why the man committed suicide. A worker from Hunan revealed, “I heard that he was frequently scolded by the manager. The manager would tell him, ‘You’re not doing this right; you’re not doing that right.’ Before he jumped, he had been scolded yet again. He was young, and he took the criticism a bit harder than he should have. After he got off work, he returned to the dorm. Then he just jumped.” An anonymous internet user posted: “This kid was scolded and abused by the dorm manager before he jumped.” . . .
The reporter tried in vain to contact VTech. Its lead security guard, Zhang Jingzhen, claimed that “I’m not obligated to talk with you,” and refused an interview request. Liaobu police revealed that the man was around 20 years old, from Sichuan, and his last name was Huang.
"This kind of work-related suicide jump happens a lot at VTech."
Inside Story of Suicide Jump
"She had argued with her manager over her resignation before she died. She might have been too upset and then committed suicide.
Female worker died in dorm
"Since I started at VTech, I have not been happy for one single day… It feels like fleeing from hell."
Yay!!! I’m leaving VTech!
"She’s one of the best at insulting people in this workshop… I feel helpless. Now my only hope is to leave this place…"
I work at VTT B23. My manager is called Lihuy Mo. She has been scolding employees at VTech for more than ten years but is still a Level 0 employee. You do whatever she says even if it doesn’t make sense. If you listen to her and make mistakes, you say nothing. Otherwise you will be insulted and scolded. She doesn’t make much sense when she’s yelling but her voice is loud. She’s one of the best at insulting people in this workshop. She made a couple of people leave last month. Don’t know who she’s going to go after this month… Anyway I’ve been here for two months and I’ve had enough. I should have listened to them so that I wouldn’t have had to bear this for so long. It’s like even killing her wouldn’t ease my hatred. I feel helpless. Now my only hope is to leave this place…
Another Death at VTech: “Some Died from Overwork”
- The standard shift is 12 to 15 hours, from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30, 8:30, 9:30 or 10:30 p.m.
- Workers are at the factory 74 to 77 hours a week, while toiling 68 to 71 hours.
- All overtime is mandatory and routinely exceeds China’s legal overtime limit by 237 to 273 percent!
The typical shift, Monday through Saturday, is from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30, 8:30, 9:30 or 10:30 p.m. The workers have a one-hour lunch break each day from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. On Sunday the plants are closed.
During the seven-month peak season, which is typically from April through October, the workers report toiling 68 to 71 hours a week, including 28 to 31 hours of forced overtime. This exceeds China’s legal limit on permissible overtime by 237 to 273 percent! Under this schedule, workers are at the factory 74 to 77 hours a week.
Even during the slow season, the workers typically work at least a 12-hour shift, Monday through Friday, and a nine-hour shift on Saturday.
|Typical Peak Season Shift
Monday through Saturday
7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Work: 5 hours
All overtime is strictly mandatory.
Workers missing overtime will have their entire day’s wages docked.
If for whatever reason, no matter how serious, a worker cannot remain for overtime after their regular eight-hour shift, management punishes the offending worker by marking him or her absent for the entire day. Not only will he or she be docked the eight hours, their attendance bonus could also be cut.
Of course the official, written policy is that workers can occasionally apply for permission to skip overtime. But such requests are rarely, if ever, approved. The official overtime policy is just for show. The obligatory and excessive overtime hours routinely demanded at VTech are illegal. But this means nothing to management.
$1.09 an hour base wage is below subsistence levels, forcing workers to rely on grueling overtime hours in order to barely survive.
In January 2012, the legal minimum wage in Dongguan City was raised to 1,200 RMB ($189.59) a month, which amounts to an hourly wage of $1.09. This was a nominal nine percent wage increase, from the $1.00 an hour wages set by the government in 2011. However, the workers refer to the wage increase as a “wash,” with rising food prices — especially vegetables and grains — wiping out any gains.
Minimum Wage as of January 2012
(1,200 RMB at $1.00 = 6.2398 RMB)
$1.09 per hour
$8.75 per day (8 hours)
$43.75 a week (40 hours)
$185.59 a month
$2,274.88 a year
In fact, the current minimum wage leaves workers trapped living in primitive dorms, eight workers to a room, forced to subsist on coarse and sometimes rotten food supplied by the company cafeteria. Moreover, the workers could not survive without the grueling and excessive overtime hours, which are also obligatory.
Workers who are still desperate to increase their base wage can volunteer to accept more dangerous work positions, such as handling potentially harmful thinners, which are used to clean the circuit boards. Workers taking these “position stipends” can earn an additional 100 RMB per month to their wages — which amounts to $15.80 a month, $3.65 a week and nine cents an hour. Many workers have no choice but to risk their health to earn an extra nine cents an hour.
In the same vein, workers can also volunteer for a “night shift” stipend — working all night — which will add 80 RMB ($12.64) a month, $2.92 a week, or seven cents an hour to their wages.
But it is only the long, seven-month peak season, with its grueling mandatory overtime hours, that allows the workers to barely survive. In the peak season, workers can earn up to 1,800 RMB ($284.37) a month, or $65.62 a week.
“I’m Afraid I’ll Never Make a Decent Living in My Life”
This is what a young couple working at VTech told us:
“Now we haven’t had kids. If we do, our lives will be miserable. Although the minimum wage increases every year, it definitely does not catch up with the increase in the cost of living. Factories in Guangdong seem to always pay workers according to the minimum wage. We can only maintain a minimum basic standard of living. You [researchers] talk about a decent wage. I’m afraid I’ll never make a decent living in my life!”
This couple are hardly slackers. They work all the grueling overtime hours, year round, both in the peak and “slow” seasons. It is common for them to work 68 to 71 hours a week. They skimp on everything, including living in a tiny box of an apartment. Their possessions amount to almost zero. They do not drink, smoke or even go out once a month to eat a cheap meal at McDonald’s. All this couple wants to do is to save enough money to get married. And even if they can raise the money to marry, they still will not be able to afford a child.
The couple ran through some of their most basic monthly expenses:
|Water and electricity
|Daily supplies (toothpaste, soap, laundry soap, toilet paper etc)||$ 9.47|
|Clothing and bedding||$ 27.63|
|Support for both their parents (Both sets of parents live in the countryside.)||$157.90|
At the very best, including all overtime, their earnings are $257.91 each per month and $515.82 together. After taking out their most basic expenses, they are left with just $123.46 per month. As mentioned, they are trying to save money in order to marry. And there are dozens of other expenses, such as purchasing train tickets to go home to their villages for the New Year and buying simple gifts for their parents and relatives.
Despite the grueling hours, VTech’s wages leave its workers trapped in poverty, eking out a hand-to-mouth existence while living in primitive conditions.
|Workers at VTech
Describe Their Daily Lives as Dull, Monotonous and Meaningless
This is how workers describe their lives: “three points and a line.” They explain, “Day in and day out we do exactly the same routine. We wake up in the dorm, go to the workshop to work all day, eat at the cafeteria, and go back to sleep in the dorm. All these activities have a center — the production line. The “three points” are the dormitory, the workshop, and the cafeteria. The “line” is the production line.”
“It’s filthy, like living in a pigsty,” is the way the workers described their dorms. Eight workers share each dorm room of roughly 13 ½ by 16 ½ feet, sleeping on narrow plywood bunk beds without mattresses. There is just one light bulb in each room and a few very small cabinets for storage. There is no air conditioning in the dorms; just two fans. During the long scorching and humid summer in Dongguan, the fans provide no relief, leaving the workers drenched in their own sweat. Even as they sleep, they are sweating. There are no curtains on the windows, which is a real hardship for the night shift workers, who have to try to sleep during the day in the burning sunlight.
Even washing off the sweat is an ordeal. It is not like the workers can go into a private shower to wash. There are no showers. Rather there is a hot water outlet on each floor with three spigots. To bathe, the workers fill small plastic buckets with hot water which they take to their dorm rooms. Each dorm room has a small bathroom where the workers can take a sponge bath one at a time. The women have to queue up and wait for their turn.
As it is late in the evening when the day shift workers return exhausted from the factory, the men choose to bypass the bathrooms and wash in the dorm room, keeping their shorts on, which is something the women cannot do.
Even with the sponge baths, the workers commented that in the dorm: “you can’t escape the constant smell of foot odor all the time.”
VTech Runs Like a Minimum Security Prison
“The food is awful,” the workers told our researchers, and “the rice is rough and yellow.” Workers are afraid they are not being provided even the most basic nutrition.
Pictures smuggled out of the cafeteria show that the potatoes they are served are rotten and black.
Each month, the workers spend from 240 to 360 RMB for cafeteria food, which is $37.97 to $56.96, or an average of $47.47, which amounts to $1.56 a day. It does not sound like a lot of money, but food takes up 25 percent of the workers’ regular wages.
VTech Scams the Social Security System,
Robbing the Workers of $7.4 to $12.3 Million Dollars a Year
And We Are Speaking about
Just the Three Vtech Factories in Dongguan City
China’s law regarding social security is very clear. Article 70 of the country’ Labor Law guarantees social security benefits to Chinese workers.
“The country has developed a social security system which establishes a social security fund in order that workers receive assistance and compensation when they are old, sick, injured, pregnant, or unemployed.” (Article 70 of China’s Labor Law)
Under China’s social security system there are five insurances and one stipend. The stipend refers to the Housing Fund, which amounts to from five to 20 percent of the average salary earned by a worker in the previous year. (VTech should be paying $1.5 to 5.8 million dollars per factory, per year to the Housing Fund for the workers.) The five insurances covered by social security are: retirement pension, unemployment compensation, work injury insurance, medical insurance, and maternity insurance.
In the case of VTech, like any other company, management is legally responsible for paying an amount equal to 16.8 percent of wage in social security benefits, based on the average yearly wages of its workers.
It is very straightforward. The average yearly wage per worker at VTech’s three factories in Dongguan City is $2,938.37. As there are approximately 10,000 workers in each factory, the average yearly wage — including overtime and stipends — per plant would total $29,383,700. By law, Vtech management must pay social security benefits of 16.8 percent of the total average yearly wages of each plant.
But it appears clear that VTech makes up its own rules. It is common for VTech management to wait at least six months, and even up to ten months, before inscribing its workers into the social security system.
For example, if VTech fails to inscribe 10,000 workers in each plant for six months of mandatory social security benefits, VTech management could possibility be pocketing $2,468,231 per plant, and $7,404,693 for the three Dongguan Vtech factories. If they shortchange the workers of 10 months of mandatory social security benefits, then VTech management could be pocketing $4,113,554 per plant and $12,340,662 for the three plants in Dongguan City.
Dongguan City Social Insurance
Company retirement pension
Local retirement pension
Work injury insurance
Physician visit insurance
Unemployment compensation insurance
Thirty thousand VTech workers in Dongguan City are being robbed, big time.
Moreover, conditions are so miserable at the VTech plants that an estimated 80 percent of its workers try to flee the factories each year, which means the workers will not be staying around to collect their social security benefits.
In fact, a brave VTech worker filed a complaint against the VTech Company at the Social Insurance Agency because Vtech management was not paying the social insurances for workers as required by law.
The worker asked that VTech management be obligated to pay the social security benefits and insurance for the workers.
However, a staffer at the Social Insurance Agency lied to the worker, claiming that the social security agency has no mandate to require employers to pay the social insurances. One can only imagine how much money VTech paid to the staffer at the Social Insurance Agency so that the scam could continue full steam ahead.
|It Is Common Across China That Workers Are Cheated
of the Social Security Benefits Legally Due Them.
There must be a thorough investigation into VTech’s practices, given the company’s evident failure to uphold its legal responsibility to its workers to pay into the government’s social security system.
Workers can quit. But in doing so they will forfeit a full month’s back wages, including all overtime, which management illegally withholds.
Still, conditions are so crude and nasty at VTech that 80 percent of the workers flee each year, running away even though they will lose their wages. It is a profitable scam for VTech. Working at least 68 hours each week including overtime, the workers can earn $284.36 a month. Let’s do the math. At the extreme, suppose 80 percent of the workers flee and in the process each lose $284.36 in back wages due them. As there are 10,000 workers each in VTech’s three Dongguan plants, this means 8,000 fleeing workers, each losing $284.36, for a subtotal of $2,274,880. For the three factories, the total would be $6,824,640. Not a bad chunk of change for very little work, other than illegally withholding the workers’ wages.
Let’s get conservative. As a low estimate say that just 40 percent of the workers flee each year, losing their $284.36 in wages withheld. This means that 4,000 workers in each plant are robbed of $284.36, or $1,137,440 and $3,412,320 in all three VTech plants.
Of course, this is all illegal, but what does VTech care? How often have you seen the Chinese government or the phony All China Trade Union Federation stand up to protect China’s workers? Never.
|VTech in China Is Very Much Like Hotel California
"You can check out any time you like but you can never leave!"
Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place (Such a lovely place)
Such a lovely face
Plenty of room at the Hotel California
Any time of year (Any time of year)
You can find it here
Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
“Relax, “ said the night man,
“We are programmed to receive.
You can check-out any time you like,
But you can never leave!
("Hotel California" by Eagles)
Crude and Nasty Treatment Is the Norm at VTech
Managers on the production lines take every opportunity to hurl insults and abuse at the workers. For example, if a worker does not look alive and thrilled to be working at VTech, the insults will follow. Every day you can hear supervisors shouting:
“If you can’t take it [the work], you can leave!”
“If you’re not happy, then get the hell out!”
So many workers flee the abusive sweatshop conditions at VTech that we were astonished when the workers told us that after just two days of training, newly hired workers are considered “experienced” workers. So many workers flee VTech that after just one month, a worker is classified as a “senior” worker, who can start training the new workers.
Once workers experience the furious production goals, the mind-numbing monotony, along with being forced to stand all day long while being shouted at — the vast majority of workers want to quit and leave as soon as they can.
By now, even in China, workers have the right to quit.
The regulations on wage payment in Guangdong Province stipulate that workers must be paid once a month without delay. Moreover, the Labor Contract Law stipulates that employees need to provide a 30-day notice to quit and terminate their contract. However--and VTech is not alone in this—factory managers blatantly and illegally withhold one month’s wages from the workers. For example, the workers’ wages for May will not be paid until June 30!
When workers ask to leave the company, management tells them that they cannot, certainly not now when there is so much work that has to be done in time. If a worker insists on leaving, they can voluntarily quit and forfeit one month’s full wages.
In April 2011, one female worker at VTech who was forced to work month after month as management refused to approve her resignation was so desperate that she set fire to a pile of inflammable materials, threatening to set fire to the whole workshop. This finally got management’s attention. They were frightened she would burn the workshop down, so they fired her, while paying all of her back wages.
Another VTech worker explained:
“Entering this lion’s den is like becoming a shackled piece of livestock. Our wages are being withheld, so even when we want to leave, we can’t. We have no choice but to continue on in bondage to the company. So the management can be unscrupulously rude to workers without any concerns that workers might leave.”
The workers are stuck with a grim choice. They can either quit and give up their full month’s wages or they can continue to work at VTech, hoping that in some fit of beneficence management will allow them to leave with their back wages.
|Workers in China Have No Way of Knowing
Whether Factories Are Good or Bad
|The company hires a lot of people every day. Lacking information, workers usually blindly look for jobs. There is no solid source of information, for the workers to find out which factories are good and which are bad. That is why, as appalling as these factories are, they have no trouble hiring workers.|
|“So many people faint… The ventilation is bad. So many poisonous and harmful chemicals… I passed out once. The management is damned awful.”
-VTech Worker, June 2011
Workers at VTech handle a lot of thinners, especially when they are cleaning circuit boards and other hardware. Workers in the cleaning department often report developing skin allergies, feeling dizzy and feeling sick to their stomachs.
The workers have no knowledge as to whether or not they are handling potentially toxic thinners that could harm them.
Workers are kept in the dark. For example, one woman worker at the VTT Sort Department reported she was often dizzy and sometimes threw up at work. Not trusting management, she resigned, afraid for her health.
According to the workers, at VTech there has never been any education or discussion regarding potential hazards at work and how to prevent exposure to toxic chemicals.
|Workers Have the Right to Know
Potentially Harmful Thinners Can Affect VTech Workers
|AT&T, Motorola, Phillips, Telstra (Australia), and Deutsche Telekom (Germany) must do a better job monitoring both health and safety and worker rights conditions at VTech.
A photo smuggled out of the VTech Dongguan Liaobu factory shows a bottle of thinner, which the workers use to clean circuit boards and other hardware. The white label reads: Name: Thinner / P/N:15-000/85-000-000.” Clearly the workers have no idea if they are handling harmful thinners.
|Benzene||Benzene is a carcinogen and mutagen. Handle with extreme caution.|
|Toluene||Toluene may affect the nervous system causing headache, dizziness, and passing out. Repeated exposure may cause liver, kidney and brain damage.|
|Ethyl acetate||Long term exposure can affect the liver and kidneys.|
|Butyl acetate||Butyl acetate may affect the nervous system.|
|N-Butanol alcohol||Can damage the liver, kidneys, hearing and sense of balance.|
|Acetone||Exposure to high concentrations can cause headache, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, light headedness and even passing out.|
|Isoamyl Acetate||Exposure to high concentrations of isoamyl acetate can cause headache, drowsiness, dizziness, light headedness, fatigue and may cause you to pass out. Prolonged or repeated contact can cause drying and cracking of the skin.|
|Xylene||Repeated exposure to Xylene can cause poor memory, difficulty in concentrating and other brain effects. It can also cause damage to the surface of the eye, and even death.|
|Methyl Isobutyl||Breathing the vapors can cause headache, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.|
Source: Right to Know Hazardous Substance Fact Sheets,
New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services
With considerable fanfare, a new labor contract law was passed in China, on January 1, 2008, which supposedly guarantees workers and management equal rights in negotiating a contract. Both parties are to recognize “the principle of equality” and accept that “voluntary and mutual consent should be respected” when signing a labor contract. (Article 3) In theory it sounds good, but in practice it is just a lot of bunk. In reality, there is absolutely no involvement of the workers in any equal negotiation of the labor contracts they are forced to sign.
VTech management provides two copies of the labor contract, and workers just sign their names and write down the date. Factory management then takes back both copies, fills in the blanks and then gives the workers a copy.
Nothing has changed in China. The workers have no voice or input into “their” labor contracts.
|VTech’s Workers Have Nowhere to Turn for Help.
The All China Federation of Trade Unions does not function as a real union.
It is a union in name only. In a factory of 10,000 workers, only a handful had even heard there was a union at their factory. The union has never reached out to the workers. The workers have no way to even communicate their grievances to factory management. So of course their problems are never addressed or solved. VTech management claims to have a “communications platform,” but the workers describe it as useless.
And of course management has made certain that the workers will never have a way to communicate directly with the factory buyers in North America, Europe or Australia.
Shipping documents show VTech “Red, White and Blue” cordless phones made in Chinese sweatshop.
|Photographs smuggled out of the VTech factory show “Motorola H-101 Cordless” phones being made under sweatshop conditions in China and exported to North America. The exact model Motorola phone made in China retails at Sears for $33.62.|
|This photograph shows shipping boxes filled with ““Philips Perfect sound Cordless phone SE170 1000 series,” which were made at the VTech sweatshop in China and exported to the United Kingdom.|
Headquarters – Hong Kong
VTech Holdings Limited
23/F, Tai Ping Industrial Centre, Block 1
57 Ting Kok Road
Tai Po, New Territories
Tel: +852 2680 1000
Fax: +852 2680 1300
Annual revenue: $1.784 billion (FY2012)
CEO: Allan Wong Chi Yun
(Total Annual Compensation: $2.7 M)
VTech Has Four Offices in the United States
in Illinois, Massachusetts and Oregon
Regional Office – Telecommunication Products (VTech Branded Phones)
VTech Communications, Inc.
9590 S.W. Gemini Drive, Suite 120
Beaverton, OR 97008
Tel: +1 503 596 1200
Fax: +1 503 644 9887
Regional Office – Electronic Learning Products
VTech Electronics North America, L.L.C.
1155 W. Dundee, Suite 130
Arlington Heights, IL 60004-1454
Tel: +1 847 400 3600
Fax: +1 847 400 3601
Liaison Office – Telecommunication Products (Original Design manufacturing)
MarketLink One Inc.
1243 Redfield Road
Naperville, IL 60563
Tel: +1 630 416 1105
Fax: +1 630 416 9631
Liaison Office – Contract Manufacturing Services
VTech Telecom, L.L.C.
545 Concord Avenue, Suite 14
Cambridge, MA 02138
Tel: +1 617 576 3300
Fax: +1 617 576 7753
208 S. Akard St.
Dallas, TX 75202
Tel: +1 210-821-4105
Annual revenue: $126.723 billion
(Ending Dec. 2011)
CEO: Randall L. Stephenson
Total annual compensation: $1.6M
Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc.
600 North U.S. Highway 45
Libertyville, Illinois 60048 USA
Tel: +1 847 523 5000
Annual revenue: $13.064 billion
CEO: Dennis Woodside
Total annual compensation: $1.6M
Headquarters – Japan
1-7-1 Konan, Minato-ku
Annual revenue: ¥5,526 billion (USD $69.59 billion)
(Ending March 2012)
CEO: Kazuo Hirai
Total annual compensation ¥101.0M (USD $1.27 M)
Sony Corporation of America
550 Madison Avenue,
New York, NY 10022
Tel: +1 212-833-6800
Chairman: Howard Stringer
Headquarters – Netherlands
Royal Philips Electronics
Amsterdam, 1096 BC
Tel: 31 20 597 7777
Fax: 31 20 597 7070
Annual revenue: $22.579 billion (2011 Annual Report)
CEO: Fran Adrianus van Houten
Total annual compensation $1.9 M
Telstra Corporation Limited
Office of the CEO
Locked Bag 5639
Melbourne VIC 3001
Annual revenue: AUD $24.983 billion
(USD$ 24.733 billion)
(Ending June 2011)
CEO: David I. Thodey
Deutsche Telekom AG
53113 Bonn, Germany
Annual revenues: € 58.7 billion (USD $73.5 billion)
Chairman: René Oberman
Butyl acetate or n-Butyl acetate
n-Butanol or n-butyl alcohol or normal butanol
C8H10, C6H4(CH3)2 or C6H4C2H6