BYD Facing Critics Over Labor Practices In LA

Electric bus maker BYD is on the defensive, after a recent report which says that BYD--despite huge fanfare over its creation of a bus manufacturing plant in Lancaster--employs less than 40 workers here, and has been under investigation for importing Chinese workers and paying them at less than minimum wage. The New York Times said that California had charged the company $100,000 for violating minimum wage laws. In a statement this morning, BYD said those workers were actually "highly-experienced engineers, battery specialists and bus design specialists" on loan from China to transfer its technology to California employees. BYD opened up a new headquarters in Los Angeles in 2011, saying it planned to hire 150 people in LA's clean technology corridor.