How Huawei controls its employees in Europe

/wolf-culture-how-huawei-controls-its-em

  • Une poupée Barbie coincée entre deux livres de C&F éditions
    https://cfeditions.com/red-mirror

    On apprend aujourd’hui dans Actulitté que Mattel, le fabricant des poupées Barbie vient de publier (avec succès) une poupée à l’effigie de la militante africaine-américaine et autrice Maya Angelou, au sein d’une collection Barbie de "femmes inspirantes" (qui comporte par exemple déjà Rosa Parks). https://actualitte.com/article/98429/insolite/mattel-commercialise-une-poupee-barbie-a-l-effigie-de-maya-angelou

    Cette annonce m’a évidemment fait bondir par son cynisme... mais il surtout significatif qu’elle entre en écho avec les deux derniers livres publiés par C&F éditions.

    Dans "L’usage de l’art", Fred Turner parle longuement des posters de militantes syndicalistes affichés sur les murs à l’intérieur des bureaux de Facebook.
    https://cfeditions.com/usage-art

    Et de s’étonner : « Les portraits de figures telles que Dolores Huerta, célèbre syndicaliste s’étant battue pour les droits des ouvriers agricoles aux États-Unis, ou de Shirley Chisholm, première Africaine-Américaine élue au Congrès sont affichés dans les bureaux de Facebook du monde entier. [...] Lorsque l’Analog Research Lab affiche une photo de Dolores Huerta sur les murs d’une entreprise dont les ingénieurs ne sont pas syndiqués, il montre son pouvoir de transformer les mouvements politiques les plus incarnés et institutionnalisés en actes d’expression décontextualisés. Sur une affiche, l’image de Dolores Huerta devient un signe, vidé de son histoire, et dès lors redéfini. Une image qui a autrefois pu inspirer des ouvriers agricoles précaires à descendre dans la rue pour manifester offre dorénavant aux ingénieurs des classes moyennes et supérieures une opportunité de célébrer la diversité d’identité au sein de leur entreprise. »

    En écho, Mattel proclame que la collection "Inspiring Women" réunit « des héroïnes incroyables de leur temps, des femmes courageuses qui ont pris des risques, changé les règles et ouvert la voie à des générations de femmes, les invitant à rêver au-delà des limites imposées ».

    Un même discours qui sacralise l’individu, mais noie son action collective derrière un gloubi-boulga marketing sur la liberté... Une liberté que Facebook comme Mattel sont loin d’offrir à leurs salarié·es.

    Dans un rapport publié en novembre 2020, plusieurs ONG dénoncent les humiliations, l’absence de droits et le harcèlement sexuel... dans les usines chinoises qui fabriquent les poupées Barbie "inspirantes". (https://admin.actionaid.fr/uploads/downloadFile/413/Mattel-factory-report-2020.pdf )

    « Salaires indignes, charge de travail infernale, logements insalubres, et parfois même travail forcé... Des détails choquants sur les conditions de travail en Chine ont été exposés les uns après les autres depuis les années 1980. [...] Cette année, nous publions les résultats d’une nouvelle enquête de plusieurs semaines dans une autre usine chinoise de Mattel, dont les résultats sont une fois de plus inquiétants. [...] Mattel a refusé de communiquer sur sa politique de lutte contre le harcèlement sexuel et n’a annoncé aucune mesure visant à éradiquer le harcèlement sexuel. »

    Ceci nous amène à parler du prochain livre publié par C&F éditions, qui va paraître le 1 février : « Red Mirror : L’avenir s’écrit en Chine ».
    https://cfeditions.com/red-mirror

    Cet ouvrage de Simone Pieranni, que nous avons traduit de l’italien, s’intéresse à la manière dont la Chine est devenu le pôle principal de l’avenir du numérique et de l’intelligence artificielle. Il montre les ressorts de ce capitalisme numérique débridé... et notamment les conditions de travail dans les usines de fabrication du matériel informatique, comme dans les bureaux des ingénieures ou le travail à la tâche des "Turcs mécaniques" qui nourrissent l’ogre de l’intelligence artificielle. Un chapitre entier est consacré aux conditions de travail... et nous averti : ce qui se passe là-bas s’étend maintenant dans toutes les usines possédées par les multinationales chinoises. Une analyse confirmée par un article du 13 janvier 2021 sur les employé·es de Huawei en Europe (https://netzpolitik.org/2021/wolf-culture-how-huawei-controls-its-employees-in-europe - en anglais ).

    Parce que le numérique est dorénavant un moteur majeur de nos sociétés, il est devenu essentiel de comprendre les discours de ses entreprises de pointe. De mesurer combien ils servent avant tout à masquer l’émergence d’une forme nouvelle d’exploitation et de dépossession des outils collectifs au profits d’une sacralisation de l’individu... qui le laisse isolé face aux pressions sociales, politiques et culturelles du capitalisme numérique.

    Deux ouvrages en plein dans l’actualité.

    Bonne lecture,

    Hervé Le Crosnier

    Fred Turner
    L’usage de l’art. De Burning man à Facebook, art, technologie et management dans la Silicon Valley
    avec un cahier photo de Scott London et de l’intérieur de Facebook
    ISBN 978-2-37662-017-4 - 25 €
    https://cfeditions.com/usage-art

    Simone Pieranni
    Red Mirror : L’avenir s’écrit en Chine
    avec un cahier photo de Gilles Sabrié
    ISBN 978-2-37662-021-1 - 25 €
    https://cfeditions.com/red-mirror
    (pré-commande. Disponible le 1 février)

    #Chine #travail #Red_Mirror #Usage_art #Simone_Pieranni #Fred_Turner

  • „Wolf culture“ : How Huawei controls its employees in Europe
    https://netzpolitik.org/2021/wolf-culture-how-huawei-controls-its-employees-in-europe

    Former employees accuse Huawei of discrimination. How massively the company interferes in their private lives and how it keeps its staff in line is revealed by internal documents and covert audio recordings that netzpolitik.org and the media partners of The Signals Network have analysed.

    What voices tell us from inside, on the other hand, belies the impression of a friendly atmosphere. They tell of a technology company that seems to see its employees first and foremost as raw materials from which it wants to forge its own success. About a company that moves Chinese employees around like chess pieces, that fires employees at will and where a quasi-military esprit de corps prevails. In Germany, the company sometimes violates the spirit, perhaps even the letter, of labour law.

    Huawei’s „wolf culture“

    Their accounts paint a picture of a company that is celebrated in public for it’s seemingly modern management philosophy, but at the same time pushes employees to their limits. Ex-employees speak of a toxic corporate culture that is promoted by the company’s management. The enormous pressure to succeed also plays a role.

    Those who play along with all this are rewarded by Huawei with special payments linked to company shares. But what happens when workers refuse to put their lives entirely at the service of their employer is shown by internal emails and covert audio recordings obtained by netzpolitik.org and its media partners, as well as court cases in several countries. The cases dealt with discrimination and dismissals that should never have happened under the law.

    In Spain, a case landed in court in 2018 that shows how Huawei apparently wants to have a say in the family planning of its employees. The plaintiff is a woman who goes by the pseudonym Ana. She accuses the company of sexist discrimination. Ana is Chinese, an expat. For almost a decade she worked in a senior position in the group’s finance department. Huawei sends her to Spain, where she marries a local.

    When the woman wants to have a child, the trouble begins. Twice she suffers a miscarriage, twice she calls in sick afterwards. Huawei claims Ana’s work performance has declined and curbs her annual bonus, according to court documents. When she starts fertility treatment and calls in sick again, the company fires her.

    Ana sues the company and wins. The court rules that the dismissal was not legal. A spokesperson for Huawei tells netzpolitik.org and its media partners that the Spanish judiciary has never ruled that the dismissal was due to discrimination against a pregnant woman.

    However, in a written submission to court, Ana’s lawyer makes serious allegations against Huawei: „This decision to penalise the employee in her remuneration as a consequence for her leaves of absence due to abortions suffered during her pregnancies presents itself no longer as a hint but as direct proof in fact — consequence, of discrimination based on sex, derived from her two frustrated attempts at maternity.“

    In the course of the proceedings, a pattern seems to emerge. A member of the workers’ council at Huawei’s subsidiary tells the court that she knows of at least five women who have become mothers and lost their jobs at Huawei. Three of them were Chinese.

    We have spoken to several former employees who were fired by the company. Their accounts are similar: „I always did everything exactly by the book“, says one of our sources. Nevertheless, Huawei fired the source after several years of loyal service. The ex-employee doesn’t want to read their name on the internet, to avoid trouble with the company, but says their only offence was their age.

    Huawei appears to take pride in its young workforce. Of 194,000 employees worldwide in 2019, only two per cent are older than 50 years, the company says on its website.

    Huawei does not like it when someone is employed by the company beyond their 60th birthday, according to several of our sources. According to them, if older employees do not leave voluntarily, Huawei resorts to pressure.

    The company’s strict, „wolfish“ company culture is part of its corporate folklore and at the same time part of everyday life. New employees at the company’s headquarters in Shenzhen have to endure a two-week boot camp, the Washington Post reported. Its components include daily training runs at five o’clock in the morning and courses that actually bear the name „brainwashing“.

    How deeply military thinking is rooted in the company is also expressed in a framed calligraphy that, according to the New York Times, hangs on the wall at the company’s headquarters. In Chinese script, it reads: „Sacrifice is a soldier’s highest cause. Victory is a soldier’s greatest contribution.“

    In Düsseldorf, working hours from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. are the rule, at least on paper, but according to former employees, Huawei demands much longer hours from employees in some departments. Ex-employees tell of meetings at the European headquarters that are scheduled at 10 p.m. and of offices that are bustling even on Sundays. Chinese employees sometimes slept in their offices, says a former employee.

    This is hardly compatible with German labour law. For years, workers at the Düsseldorf site could only enter their arrival in a time recording system, our sources report, but the company did not allow records of the end of working days. Non-Chinese employees rebelled and have since been effectively exempted from the rule. Expats, however, are denied proper recording of their working hours, according to our sources.

    A company spokesperson insists to netzpolitik.org and its media partners that working hours are not recorded, but only the attendance of employees. At the same time, he admits that there have indeed been complaints about the recording of attendance at the European headquarters.

    #Huawei #Culture_du_loup #Red_mirror #Travail

  • „Wolf culture“ : How Huawei controls its employees in Europe
    https://netzpolitik.org/2021/wolf-culture-how-huawei-controls-its-employees-in-europe

    Former employees accuse Huawei of discrimination. How massively the company interferes in their private lives and how it keeps its staff in line is revealed by internal documents and covert audio recordings that netzpolitik.org and the media partners of The Signals Network have analysed. The journalist with the camera causes nervousness. Minutes after he appears in front of Huawei’s European headquarters in Düsseldorf in mid-November, a stocky security guard and a female employee rush over. (...)

    #Huawei #racisme #discrimination #surveillance #travail