Foxconn says investigating labour conditions at China factory used for Amazon

12 June, 2018, 20:25 | Author: Eric Barnett
  • Credit Reuters

To cut costs, a Foxconn-owned factory in Hengyang, China, has hired about 2,000 temporary "dispatch workers", which it can lay off at any time, according to an investigation by China Labor Watch.

Taiwan-based Foxconn is the world's largest contract electronics manufacturer and employs more than a million people.

The situation is often even worse for "dispatch workers", or temporary staff who are brought into the factory when more hands are needed.

A joint investigation found multiple labor violations at a Foxconn plant in China where Amazon devices are produced. "Furthermore, the working conditions between dispatch workers and regular workers were markedly different despite working the same positions", starts off the 94-page China Labor Watch report, which also highlights just exactly how much a Foxconn worker earns for his job, overtime included or not. "The hourly rate includes an attendance bonus, and workers who take more than two days off or are late more than twice a month would receive wages calculated by a 13.5 RMB/hour ($2.11 USD) standard for the month". Foxconn is considering building a display-manufacturing plant in the USA, the value of which could exceed $7 billion. A lot of them were working 14 hour weeks without a single day off and had to ask for permission to visit the restroom.

"Amazon has the ability to not only ensure its supplier factories respects the rights of workers but also that there is equal pay for equal work", the report states.

Workers tasked to build Echos and Kindles at a factory in Hengyang, China, are subjected to grueling working conditions, low wages, and practices that violate the country's labor laws. These workers often face 60-hour work weeks and are pushed to the point of exhaustion, reported The Guardian.


In light of these allegations, Amazon has said that it completed an internal audit of the factory, and found "two issues of concern".

Foxconn, which also makes Apple Inc (AAPL.O) iPhones, came under fire in 2010 for a spate of suicides at plants in China.

Amazon said that it immediately requested an action plan to correct the issues and said that it was monitoring the responses by Foxconn and compliances with Amazon's Supplier Code of Conduct.

According to the CLW report, its employees continue to be subject to a grueling 100 hours of monthly overtime, which should have been no more than 36 hours. Amazon regularly assesses suppliers, using independent auditors as appropriate, to monitor continued compliance and improvement. "We are committed to ensuring these issues are resolved", the company added.

Foxconn said it didn't comment on matters involving current customers or products, but promptly claimed that it "works hard" to honor the law and that it will "rectify" violations if they're found.

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