Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Microsoft workers decry grueling '996' working standard at Chinese tech firms


Kari Paul
Mon 22 Apr 2019 21.54 EDT

Microsoft employees have published a letter on the software development platform Github in solidarity with tech workers in China.

Workers at tech companies in the country have used the Microsoft-owned platform to complain about grueling working conditions and the “996” standard in the industry, a philosophy endorsed by the tech billionaire Jack Ma. The name is based on the idea of working from 9am to 9pm, six days a week.

Microsoft workers called on Chinese tech companies to comply with local labor laws, which limit their workers to 40 hours a week, with a maximum of 36 hours per month of overtime.

“These same issues permeate across full time and contingent jobs at Microsoft and the industry as a whole,” the workers said.


In November 2018, Google employees walked off the job over reports that a former executive who had been ousted for sexual harassment had received a $90m severance package. Workers involved in organizing that protest have reported internal backlash and demotions for their actions.

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