Reuters reports that a major U.S. based labor watchdog group, China Labor Watch, criticized both Amazon and global contract manufacturing services provider Foxconn over what is described as harsh working conditions at an assembly factory in China.
A China Watch report consisting of a nine-months of investigations cited excessive hours, low wages, inadequate training and over reliance on temporary workers at the Hengyang Foxconn plant in Hunan province.
According to the report, upwards of 40 percent of plant workers were classified temporary or “dispatch” workers, far exceeding Chinese labor law regarding workforce composition of such workers. Workers reportedly averaged more than 100 overtime hours per month during peak manufacturing periods while allegedly not compensated the time-and-one-half wages required for such overtime work. China’s labor laws call for no more than 36 hours of monthly overtime. Some workers allegedly worked 14 consecutive days of overtime.
Amazon indicated to Reuters in a statement that the online retailer audited the subject factory in March and found “two issues of concern.” Amazon did not indicate what the issues found were, exactly.
The plant cited produces Amazon Echo Dot smart speakers and Kindle e-readers.
Supply Chain Matters has in the past, called attention to previous China Labor Watch reports of labor abuses within China, specifically related to Apple’s supply network, either in Foxconn, or other contract manufacturing facilities such as those operated by Jabil and Pegatron in China.
Such cited labor abuses continue, in spite of constant audits and factory visitations. Workers tolerate such conditions because of their needs for a living wage or in many cases, to support immediate and extended families.
Watchdogs such as China Labor Watch add visibility to continued existence of such labor abuse conditions.
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