Watchdog wants Amazon to improve factory conditions in China

Watchdog wants Amazon to improve factory conditions in China

Watchdog wants Amazon to improve factory conditions in China

According to the news report by Bloomberg, Amazon.com Inc. has been criticized for the conditions for workers in the factory that makes Amazon's products in China.

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., better known as Foxconn Technology Group and one of the world's largest and most successful manufacturing companies, is a company not exactly short of a bob or two: In the last couple of years it has paid out billions of pounds to acquire Sharp and Belkin while also pledging to open a United States factory in Wisconsin. A number of dispatch workers do not receive a copy of their labour contract.

This factory is owned by Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., also known as Foxconn, is located in the city of Hengyang and manufactures Amazon's two products - the Echo speaker and the Kindle e-reader.

"They were underpaid", Lu said.

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The China Labor Watch report also says that, while working conditions were different for regular and dispatch workers, "all workers are subject to long hours and low wages".

Alexa, for example, is paid 14.5 yuan an hour (£1.69), with frequent overtime paid at the same rate, even though both the Chinese labor law and Amazon's code of conduct dictate that overtime has to be paid at a 150% rate.

In a statement given to Reuters, Foxconn said: "We are carrying out a full investigation of the areas raised by that report, and if found to be true, immediate actions will be taken to bring the operations into compliance with our Code of Conduct".

About 40 percent of the factory's workers are dispatch workers, or disposable temporary employees contracted from outside agencies during peak workloads.

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"During interviews with 20 employees, China Labour Watch found that 2,000, or 44% of Hengyang Foxconn's total workforce of 4,500 were "dispatch" employees, who work on temporary contracts". 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. Back in 2010, Foxconn's Longhua factory, where it produces iPhones, was blamed for a series of worker suicides.

Amazon said in a statement it audited the factory in March and found "two issues of concern".

"Amazon's profits have come at the expense of workers who labour in appalling working conditions and have no choice but to work excessive overtime hours to sustain a livelihood". "We are committed to ensuring these issues are resolved", the company added.

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

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