Foxconn investigates ‘harsh working conditions’ at its Amazon plant

Credit Reuters

China Labor Watch released an investigative report titled "Amazon Profits from Secretly Oppressing Its Supplier's Workers", which details the deplorable conditions for employees at a factory in China.

Foxconn, known previously as Hon Hai Precision Industry, is the largest contract electronics maker in the world and employs over one million people. That cash, though, is claimed to come at the cost of its workforce, according to a report by advocacy group China Labour Watch.

Amazon/China Labour WatchAmazon Echo Dot, and inset, the Hengyang Foxconn factory in which it is made.

The China Labor Watch investigation was published on Sunday stated that more than 40 percent of the staff in the Foxconn factory were agency workers.

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. Foxconn is considering building a display-manufacturing plant in the US, the value of which could exceed $7 billion. The report also notes that workers did not receive adequate safety training and a lack of fire safety in the worker dorms.

All workers at the plant put in as much as 100 overtime hours during peak seasons, and the group found instances when workers had to work 14 days in a row. The tech giant said that it had already identified the violations with regard to overtime as well as how dispatch workers were being employed and had asked Foxconn to remedy these issues immediately. These workers often face 60-hour work weeks and are pushed to the point of exhaustion, reported The Guardian.

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Amazon said it took action against the violations, including a request for a "corrective action plan" from the Hengyang factory as well as "regular assessments" to be sure that Foxconn enacts the necessary changes.

Now that reporting on Apple doesn't get the global attention it once did, China Labor Watch has turned its attention to poor working conditions at a Foxconn plant that makes Echo speaker and Kindle tablets for Amazon. Still, wages are deducted as penalty for taking leave or "unexcused absences", and workers are subjected to verbal abuse.

In response to the report, Amazon said it audited the factory in March and found overtime and use of dispatch workers were "issues of concern".

Salary reviews are conducted regularly, and all full-time and temporary employees receive "both pre-job training and additional training in their assigned departments", Foxconn said in a June 10 statement.

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

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