Foxconn: Investigating Work Conditions at Factory in China

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.

Both Kindles and Echo Dots are assembled at the Hengyang Foxconn plant.

China's labor laws limit workers to 36 hours of overtime per month.

"They were underpaid", Lu said.

"Despatch workers are also required to pay the physical examination fees, whereas some regular workers reported not having to pay any fees for the physical examination", China Labor Watch claimed.

Temporary workers were paid just 14.5 Yuan (£1.69) an hour, including overtime.

The factory is accused of relying heavily on so-called dispatch workers - those who are employed through agencies rather than by Foxconn itself.

Amazon said it has called on a supplier to clean up its act at a Chinese factory where a watchdog group says it observed harsh conditions and mistreatment of workers. Workers put in over 100 overtime hours during peak season and there was an instance of people working consecutively for 14 days.

The Labour Watch survey discovered that over 40 per cent at the factory supplying Amazon were dispatch workers, backing up Amazon's own investigations earlier in the year.

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

Kara Hartnett Hurst, Amazon's head of worldwide sustainability, wrote back saying: "Amazon recognizes our responsibility to ensure the well-being of factory workers manufacturing products for Amazon".

"Our company has already started a comprehensive investigation, if any irregularities are found, we will immediately improve and correct them, and safeguard our company's corporate social responsibility", Foxconn said in a filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

Amazon said it had completed an audit of the factory in March and found violations regarding overtime and the use of dispatch workers, which it asked Foxconn to remedy.

The online retailing giant said it is monitoring Foxconn's response and "compliance with our Supplier Code of Conduct. We are committed to ensuring these issues are resolved", the company added.

Foxconn also responded, stating that salary reviews were conducted regularly and all full time as well as dispatch workers received pre-job training as well as additional training for their assigned departments.

It said that regular audits were carried out "and if infractions are identified, we work to immediately rectify them".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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