Watchdog Blasts Amazon for Conditions at Chinese Echo Factory


Watchdog Blasts Amazon for Conditions at Chinese Echo Factory

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. That cash, though, is claimed to come at the cost of its workforce, according to a report by advocacy group China Labour Watch.

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 probe also found that the Hengyang workers were paid less than Foxconn workers in other Chinese cities - earning a monthly wage of 1,750 yuan ($273 US), while those at a Foxconn factory in Shenzen start at 2,400 ($375) yuan.

China Labour Watch said dispatch staff were paid less than permanent staff, had significantly less training, were not properly rewarded for working overtime, and were not paid for sick leave.

On Monday, Foxconn said in an exchange filing it's begun its own internal investigation and will rectify any illegality it discovers.

A USA watchdog group has criticized Amazon and contract manufacturer Foxconn over what it described as harsh working conditions at a China factory that makes Amazon's Echo speakers and Kindle e-readers, Reuters reports. The report also notes that workers did not receive adequate safety training and a lack of fire safety in the worker dorms.

What just happened? Amazon has been slammed for the "unethical and illegal" working conditions at one of its supplier factories in China.

Amazon completed its most recent audit of the plant in March and said it had found two issues of concern, which it immediately asked Foxconn to address. A 94-page report details poor working conditions barely two months after reports of strict rules restricting breaks at Amazon's United Kingdom fulfillment centers emerged.

"Amazon recognizes our responsibility to ensure the well-being of factory workers manufacturing products for Amazon", the letter said.

Amazon said it's also "conducting regular assessments to monitor for implementation and compliance with our Supplier Code of Conduct". "We are committed to ensuring that these issues are resolved", the statement said.

The major electronics manufacturer in China was criticised for working conditions in plants where Apple devices were made, leading to the company installing safety netting to prevent worker suicides.

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