Amazon Accused of Harsh Working Conditions at Foxconn Plant

Marco Green
June 12, 2018

Amazon has been criticised by China Labour Watch over the conditions for workers at a factory that produces the company's Kindles, Echo Dots, and tablets.

The facility in question is owned by Hon Hai Precision Industry, widely known as Foxconn, which also builds iPhone for Apple. China Labour Watch goes on to describe how the workers at the factory were treated differently than the rest of the workforce, receiving no overtime wages and "very little" safety training.

A joint investigation found multiple labor violations at a Foxconn plant in China where Amazon devices are produced.

The investigation found that workers put in 100 hours of overtime per month during peak periods, vastly exceeding the 36 overtime hours allowed by Chinese labor law, and used intermediary labor companies to provide 40 percent of workers so that they were not directly employed by Foxconn.

The Kindle is made at the Hengyang factory and they were paid considerably less than those at other Foxconn factories.

It was also found that overtime at the factory was being paid at a standard hourly rate, rather than the legally required time-and-a-half.

"All workers are subject to long hours and low wages", according to the report.

A Foxconn factory in China is being investigated by its owner, after a United States watchdog alleged serious workplace violations at the plant.

A US-based rights group said there had been "a number of rights violations" at a Foxconn factory in China which manufactures products for Amazon.

The report alleged working conditions between despatch workers and regular workers was "markedly different" with regular workers receiving five days of training compared to despatch workers receiving just eight hours of training.

When Foxconn made headlines in 2010 following a spate of worker suicides at a Shenzhen factory that makes iPhones, it was probably the first time many people in the West had heard of the manufacturing contractor giant. Amazon also added that regular checks were being conducted to validate that implementation of the corrective action plan was taking place and that the factory was becoming compliant with their Supplier Code of Conduct. Amazon regularly assesses suppliers, using independent auditors as appropriate, to monitor continued compliance and improvement. "We are committed to ensuring these issues are resolved".

Meanwhile, Foxconn "works hard to comply with all relevant laws and regulations", according to the same Reuters report.

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

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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