Investigating Work Conditions at Factory in China — Foxconn

Terry Gou chairman of Taiwan's Foxconn his firm is again under fire for allegedly exploiting workers

Terry Gou chairman of Taiwan's Foxconn his firm is again under fire for allegedly exploiting workers

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 USA factory in Wisconsin. 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.

The factory, in the city of Hengyang, produces Amazon's Echo speakers and Kindle e-readers.

The investigation found that workers put in over 100 hours of overtime a month during peak production season, violating Chinese law which says monthly overtime can not exceed 36 hours.

"They were underpaid", Reuters quoted Lu as saying.

Dispatch workers earned 14.5 yuan ($2.26) per hour, the report said. Foxconn is considering building a display-manufacturing plant in the USA, the value of which could exceed $7 billion.

"Amazon takes reported violations of our Supplier Code of Conduct extremely seriously", an Amazon spokesperson told CNET in an emailed statement.

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

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

China Labor Watch's investigator worked on the factory's night shift, brushing dust off Alexa Echo Dot speakers from 8 p.m. until the small hours of the morning. "Furthermore, the working conditions between dispatch workers and regular workers were markedly different despite working the same positions", the report states. The concerns involved treatment of dispatch workers and overtime pay, Amazon spokesman Ty Rogers said.

As for the allegations in China, Amazon said it had found "issues of concern" in the Hengyang factory during an audit in March, and "immediately requested a corrective action plan". The company came under fire in 2010 following numerous suicides at plants in China.

As Bezos claimed the title as the richest man in the world, reports pile in that show that Amazon is treating their workers badly, both in the US and beyond.

It said it is monitoring Foxconn's response and "compliance with our Supplier Code of Conduct. We are committed to ensuring that these issues are resolved", the statement said.

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

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