Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Business | By Kate Woods

Amazon blasted by labour group over Echo China factory conditions

Amazon blasted by labour group over Echo China factory conditions

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

The facility in question is owned by Hon Hai Precision Industry, widely known as Foxconn, which also builds iPhone for Apple.

The situation is often even worse for "dispatch workers", or temporary staff who are brought into the factory when more hands are needed.

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

The investigation also found that during peak production times, factory staff were working more than 100 hours of overtime a month - almost triple the 36 hours of overtime a month permitted under Chinese law.

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"Despatch workers are also required to pay the physical examination fees, whereas some regular workers reported not having to pay any fees for the physical examination", China Labor Watch claimed.

According to the report, workers at FoxConn's Hengyang factory earned an average monthly wage that was roughly half of what other workers in the city made in 2017.

"We immediately requested a corrective action plan from Foxconn Hengyang detailing their plan to remediate the issues identified, and we are conducting regular assessments to monitor for implementation and compliance with our Supplier Code of Conduct", A spokesperson for Amazon told Gizmodo.

The report also found workers did not receive adequate safety training and that factory dorm rooms did not adhere to fire safety guidelines.

Amazon responded to the report in an emailed statement that clarified that the company had already conducted an inspection of this factory in March. And while dispatch workers put in over 100 hours of overtime a month during the peak season, they're only supposed to work more than 36 overtime hours.

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The violations were said to be taking place at a Foxconn factory in Hengyang in Hunan province that is involved in production of Amazon devices.

But now a USA watchdog group, China Labor Watch, has alleged fresh worker violations and harsh working conditions at the Foxconn factory in Hunan province. The factory uses more "dispatch workers", similar to casual or temporary staff, than are allowed by Chinese law.

The online retailing giant said it is monitoring Foxconn's response and "compliance with our Supplier Code of Conduct".

"If any irregularities are found, we will immediately improve and correct them, and safeguard our company's corporate social responsibility", Foxconn said in a filing to the Taiwan stock exchange. "We are committed to ensuring these issues are resolved", the company added.

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