Monday, March 01, 2004

China, garment workers and nanotechnology

Asian Labor News asked this question regarding China, garments and nanotechnology:
    China has earned a reputation in some quarters as the world's sweatshop, particularly for conditions in its garment sector. Images of cramped factories with hundreds or thousands of workers toiling for long hours and low pay to produce cheap garments spring to mind, which is not necessarily wrong. Many garment workers do in fact work in poor and sometimes dangerous conditions. But it's not the only way garments are made in China, as this story on a Hong Kong company with manufacturing facilities in Guangdong using nanotechnology suggests. Working conditions? It's not clear, but I'd be interested to know more.

I can provide a little more insight based on information I received from a journalist working in China who has spoken to officials at U-Right International, the nanotech company cited in the report. Company officials said the biggest problem the firm has is worker loyalty, so they have to make sure that trained technicians don't leave and tell "nanotech secrets" to other companies. To improve "worker loyalty," they've built a "campuslike" community.

My colleague says there are quite a few garment makers (nano or not), in China that are doing the same thing.

My colleague has to continue to work in China, so I'll let you draw your own conclusions.



Women Migrant Workers in China's Economic Reform

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