Wednesday, 19 September, 2018


Foxconn says investigating labour conditions at China factory used for Amazon

GettyImages-101581741 Foxconn says investigating labour conditions at China factory used for Amazon
Conrad Doyle | 12 June, 2018, 21:38

Foxconn Technology Group says it is investigating a factory it operates that makes Amazon devices, including Kindles, after an in-depth report by advocacy group China Labor Watch criticized its "appalling working conditions", including excessive hours and over-reliance on temporary workers.

Foxconn is a Taiwan-based electronics contract business, which is also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry.

China Labor Watch also reported other legal violations at the facility.

Amazon has been accused of poor working conditions in Chinese factories building Kindle and Echo smart speakers.

The investigation found that workers put in over 100 hours of overtime a month during peak production season, violating Chinese law which says monthly overtime can not exceed 36 hours.

"In addition, sick leave is unpaid for dispatch workers, and they are regularly sent on leave during the factory's off season", the report states. 40% of the staff were agency workers and those who were working working overtime were being paid at the normal hourly rate instead of the time-and-a-half required by Chinese law and by Amazon's own supplier code of conduct. Those same workers earn about $2.26 an hour, and can end up raking in 100 hours in overtime a month to make up for the low wages.

A Foxconn factory in China is being investigated by its owner, after a U.S. watchdog alleged serious workplace violations at the plant. The type of labour remains popular in China because the dispatch company - not the factory - is considered to be obligated to the worker, so factory operators can skirt the rules and abuse labour laws.

It's report controversially alleges that Amazon "profits from secretly oppressing its supplier's workers".

New York-based China Labour Watch investigators monitored conditions at the Hengyang City factory between August 2017 and April 2018. The factory uses more "dispatch workers", similar to casual or temporary staff, than are allowed by Chinese law. The company said the last audit, concluded in March, found two issues of concern, which it has asked the factory operators to address.

It said it is monitoring Foxconn's response and "compliance with our Supplier Code of Conduct".

"We are committed to ensuring that these issues are resolved", the company added.

In a statement released earlier Foxconn said that it works diligently to comply with all the relevant regulations and laws where it has operations and it conducts audits on a regular basis.

"If infractions are identified, we work to immediately rectify them", it was quoted as saying in an emailed statement.

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