In Poland in recent years electronic industry has been developing at a very fast rate. This in itself positive for Polish economy development directed attention of NGOs to the working conditions in the electronic factories. makeITfair - a project implemented by number of organizations from EU and developing countries developed a report titled Gender perspective. Production of Next-Generation Electronics in Poland. The research was conducted from May to July 2007 and was based on existing literature, press reports and accessible data related to the industry as well as empirical research included interviews compiled with a small sample of workers and trade union representative of one of Polish factories, as well as interviews with trade union representative and human resources worker in another factory. In the factory where makeITfair talked to workers the results suggest a worrying similarity with conditions normally associated with factories in the developing world. They work for 12 hours shifts with just two 15 minute breaks and earn 200-350 Euro per month (including overtime). This is barely enough money to get by. Workers told us that conditions were often hot and dusty – and that the work is exhausting and tedious. makeITfair’s research has also shown that unions have a limited ability to help the workers.

“Although this research does not claim to be representative for the entire sector, it emphasizes the need to monitor the working conditions of this expanding sector in Poland. While new jobs and new investment for Poland are very desirable, we need to make sure the economic growth takes place in an environment where workers are treated fairly and are not exploited."– said Anita Seibert, project coordinator in Poland – "Now when many Poles leave Poland to work in other EU countries where working conditions including the wages are superior could be a good time to strive towards improvement of working conditions in electronic industry in Poland.”

Big brand electronics companies need to take responsibility for the labour abuses that are occurring in their supply chain, especially if they are accruing right under their nose in new EU states where at least in theory the work related policy and practice should not be different to that in old EU states.

If you want to read the whole report, find out more about makeITfair or if you want to help make IT fair for people everywhere, please go to or contact with KARAT Secretariat in Poland: [email protected]