Flextronics runs manufacturing plants in Malaysia. Half of the workers at the three production sites are immigrants originating from rural areas in Bangladesh, Nepal, Cambodia, Myanmar, or Indonesia. They are employed through work agencies to whom they must pay excessive, illegal recruitment fees for false promises of direct contracts with Flextronics. Contracts signed with agencies are often not even translated to their native languages. Even lower than promised, their wages are only € 200 on average (which is at the poverty level in Malaysia), for up to 26 working days of 12-hour shifts. However, the contracts only stipulate eight hours.
Furthermore, the workers often have to factor in an additional three hours of unpaid time for their commute. Salaries are often delayed for up to six months, overtime is not compensated, and breaks are unpaid. Medical leave constitutes a pay deduction. Flextronics workers are placed in overcrowded dormitories (up to 20 people per room), many often sleeping on the floor.
Their passports are withheld by the work agencies, which makes this a case of modern slavery. They have no right to join trade unions. Pregnant women are subject to immediate deportation. Workers also suffer from various occupational diseases, usually a result of sleep deprivation or dehydration due to restrictions on toilet use.1