Posts Tagged ‘Electronics for Imaging’

Silicon Valley’s EFI pays Indian workers $1.21 per hour for a 122 hour week

October 24, 2014

Sweatshop in California: Electronics for Imaging in Silicon Valley

The land of milk and honey has a seamy side of its own. There are sweat shops in Silicon Valley in California as well. And this particular sweat shop – Electronics for Imaging (EFI) – which paid workers imported from India $1.21 per hour (in Rupees) and worked them upto 122 hours per week, is no fly-by-night operation but a  company listed on Nasdaq and generated about $200 million in revenue in its last quarter. Taking the cost of living into account and the relative salaries in California and Bangladesh, EFI is worse than the textile companies in Bangladesh.

Business Journal

Electronics for Imaging Inc. has been ordered by the U.S. Department of Labor to pay $40,156 in back wages to employees who had allegedly received as little as $1.21 an hour, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

EFI also paid a fine of $3,500 following a federal investigation into its wage and hour practices, which had included paying its workers in Indian rupees and having them work up to 122 hours in the Fremont company’s IT department. …. 

The EFI violations of state and federal labor laws concerned eight employees who were paid to help install a computer network when the company moved its home office from Foster City to Fremont, according to the Mercury News. The data storage provider said that it had brought in some of its IT employees from Bangalore, India, to do the jobs in Fremont between Sept. 8, 2013 and Dec. 21, 2013.

You couldn’t get the hours worked into a 5 day week. 122 hours a week averages to over 17 hours a day for a 7 day week. The EFI defence is remarkable for its callousness – “we unintentionally overlooked laws that require even foreign employees to be paid based on local U.S. standards” the company said in a statement. Who in their right minds would expect foreign workers in California to be paid the local Californian wage?

Not so very different from conditions in Bangladesh:


The majority of garment workers in Bangladesh earn little more than the minimum wage, set at 3,000 taka a month (approximately £25), far below what is considered a living wage, calculated at 5,000 taka a month (approximately £45), which would be the minimum required to provide a family with shelter, food and education. 

As well as earning a pittance, Bangladeshi factory workers face appalling conditions. Many are forced to work 14-16 hours a day seven days a week, with some workers finishing at 3am only to start again the same morning at 7.30am.

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