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© vladimir melnik dreamstime.com Electronics Production | November 27, 2012

Complaint filed against Panasonic, abusing migrant workers in Singapore

The Singapore-based NGO Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME) have submitted a complaint with the Japanese NCP (National Contact Point) about abuse of Chinese migrant workers at a Panasonic plant.

The complaint is referring to the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. The complaint speaks of a violation of Singapore’s Employment Agencies Act and the ILO’s Private Employment Agencies Convention, which Japan has ratified. It alleges that the wages paid to Chinese migrant workers at a Panasonic plant in Singapore are below Singapore’s national standard of an employee in a similar occupation and are thereby barely enough to meet their own basic needs. Because of huge debts (which are caused by the high recruitment fees), workers are highly vulnerable to situations of forced labour. They are pressured to accept excessive overtime of up to 150 hours a month. Although media pressure in August 2012 forced Panasonic to slightly increase wages, return the migrant workers’ passports and make contracts available in Chinese, HOME claims that these measures have had a limited impact on the workers’ rights and well-being.
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