21 thoughts on “Bill Gates’ Microsoft exploits teenage workers

  1. Glover in cuffs

    US: Actor Danny Glover was cuffed before being taken away by police at the Maryland headquarters of French company Sodexo.

    The Lethal Weapon star and 11 others were detained at a protest over poor working conditions at the food service company.

    Mr Glover has been increasingly active in trade union politics recently, speaking out in support of Hugo Boss employees on strike against a plant closure in Brooklyn, Ohio, last month.



  2. Arrests follow employee abuse

    Business reaped millions by selling fake medical device

    13 May, 18:54

    (ANSA) – Florence, May 13 – Police have arrested five people accused of abusing employees and tricking customers into paying thousands of euros for cheap vacuum cleaners sold as anti-allergen equipment, the Italian media reported Tuesday. The four men and one woman have been charged with conspiracy to commit tax fraud and business fraud, while 11 other individuals are still under investigation.

    Three properties worth 1.5 million euros have also been seized in connection with the investigation. All had links to Italcarone, a Tuscan company that allegedly imported 350-euro vacuum cleaners from the United States that were then sold to Italian customers for around ten times that price. The appliances were branded as “electro-medical anti-allergen equipment”, which customers were told would help treat respiratory disease and even cure asthma.

    In the five years since it was created, the company is estimated to have sold over a million appliances, generating annual under-the-counter revenue of around five million euros. Although the charges are fraud related, it was chiefly the business’s appalling treatment of staff that helped bring the scam to light, investigators said. Unskilled staff in desperate need of money were recruited through newspaper advertisements and then trained either as telephone operators or as door-to-door salesmen. WORKERS WERE WHIPPED WHEN THEY FAILED TO MEET TARGETS.

    Those working in the call centre were set impossible targets, for which they were promised non-existent trips to exotic locations.

    They were expected to work up to 14 hours a day, with half an hour for lunch and timed bathroom breaks, and subjected to continual psychological and physical abuse, ex-employees claimed. They said the company routinely used public humiliation in front of co-workers to keep employees in line. Some were even whipped on their legs when they failed to meet targets.

    Workers were ‘boosted’ by daily blasts of the national anthem and by motivational talks.

    The door-to-door salesmen were encouraged to attempt their first demonstration to a relative or close friend – who would often buy the appliance out of support. However, the salesmen were then fired shortly afterwards without being paid, on the basis they had failed to meet the impossible quotas set.

    “The employees were subjected to gruelling and frequently humiliating work conditions,” investigators commented.


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