© China Labor Watch Electronics Production | June 12, 2018
Foxconn investigating labour conditions at Chinese facility
EMS-giant Foxconn says that it is investigating labour conditions at a manufacturing plant in China – which makes devices for Amazon – following criticism from China Labor Watch.
From August 2017 to April 2018, China Labor Watch dispatched several investigators into Hengyang Foxconn, a factory that predominantly manufactures products for Amazon. The watchdog’s investigation found a number of rights violations, among them excessive hours, a lack of training, low wages as well as an overreliance on so called ‘dispatch workers’, or temporary workers. CLW’s investigation revealed that dispatch workers made up more than 40% of the workforce, a clear violation of the legally mandated 10%. Furthermore, the working conditions between dispatch workers and regular workers were reportedly different despite working the same positions, tChina Labor Watch says. Regular workers would receive five days of training, whilst dispatch workers only receive eight hours of training – also a violation as it is below the legal stipulation of 24 hours of pre-job safety training. In addition, sick leave is unpaid for dispatch workers, and they are regularly sent on leave during the factory’s off season. Another difference between the workgroups are that regular workers are paid overtime wages, however, dispatch workers are paid the same rate for normal hours and overtime hours. While there are clear distinctions in working conditions between regular workers and dispatch workers at the factory, all workers are subject to long hours and low wages. Workers put in over 100 overtime hours during peak season, and there was an instance of workers working consecutively for 14 days, China Labor Watch says in the report. The watchdog also points out other major issues at the factory including inadequate fire safety in the dormitory area, lack of sufficient protective equipment, absence of a functioning labor union at the factory, and strict management who subject workers to verbal abuse. In an emailed statement to news agency Reuters, Foxconn Technology Group 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.”