Posts Tagged ‘YFO’

Have HTC read their own Code of Ethics recently?

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

So I’ve been looking at choosing my next smartphone upgrade with a nod to its ethical implications. It’s not really surprised me that it’s not that easy to find out much on this. Customer services departments tend to clam up when you ask awkward questions, and I don’t have the clout of a proper media outlet to make press offices take note.

HTC have come the closest in terms of answering my questions so far though, and were good enough to give me the requested copy of their Code of Ethics for suppliers (PDF). It’s not a bad policy *, mentioning the right to union membership, and many of the key terms you’d expect.

After a stunt last year by workers who make HTC phone touchscreens, HTC Chairperson Cher Wang engaged sympathetically but told her disrupted press conference that the issue wasn’t one she knew about, other than that it related not to HTC staff, but to a supplier (Young Fast Optoelectronics), and that therefore HTC unfortunately couldn’t do anything about it.

However, a lot of the issues in the HTC supplier code neatly map against a Taiwanese government inspector’s report from 2010. Chairperson Wang is a busy woman, so I’ve made her a handy cut out and keep guide: (more…)

HTC Desire HD: Sweatshop workers just desire respect

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Here’s a video from the unrecognised union at Taiwanese touchscreen supplier Young Fast Optoelectonics. Their members make the high tech display panels for mobile phones for several companies, including up and coming iPhone rivals HTC. And their members allegedly face harassment and sacking for union membership, poor safety and enforced overtime. There are even allegations of child labor at YFO.

HTC Desire HD - sweatshop editionI have a phone using one of these screens, and as it’s due for upgrade and I’m an unreformable smartphone geek, I’ve been looking into the gobsmackingly clever new Desire HD as a replacement for it. I’m concerned though that I really don’t want (another) phone which has been made under such terrible conditions for the people who produced it.

I’ve heard good things of HTC in the past on CSR – even saw one of their managers present a communications industry award to a union strike comms project ferchrissakes. But they don’t seem to be engaging at all over the very serious allegation that the key component of their flagship products is sourced from a sweatshop. (more…)

HTC using unionbusting touchscreens?

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

stickerBad day to be an HTC fanboi like me. LabourStart have a campaign running in support of YFOTU, the union of workers in Taiwanese mobile phone touchscreen manufacturer YFO. There have been some grim reports of working conditions at the company, with child labour, forced overtime and poor safety.

After seeing reports of bad conditions at iPhone component factories, I was feeling all smug with my non-union-busting HTC TouchHD (the third HTC handset I’ve had now, and a very nice one too), but it looks like mine may be just as bad. YFO have dismissed a number of union reps and members recently, which the union belives is in contravention of employment law. (more…)