The Industry

In recent decades the global electronics industry has become one of the largest in the global economy, generating more revenue than any other manufacturing sector. An estimated 18 million workers produce 20% of global imports and create a $1.7 trillion trade in electronics products.  One forecast shows the industry growing at an annual rate of 15% to nearly US$ 3 trillion in trade by 2020. Electronics brands are some of the most valuable companies in the world, while the manufacturers include some of the world's largest employers.

Unfortunately, workers have helped shoulder the cost of industry growth by working excessive working hours for low wages in precarious forms of employment and in unhealthy environments.

Click on the links to the left to learn about some of the main issues in the electronics industry from workers’ perspectives. Note that these workers’ stories serve to illustrate larger themes and challenges, that form the core of the Electronics Watch Strategic Plan 2018-2020. For current details of Electronics Watch monitoring findings in specific factories or regional risk assessments, see our monitoring reports.