Foxconn: Investigating Work Conditions at Factory in China

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Foxconn the Taiwan-based contract manufacturer announced on Sunday that it was investigating one of its plants in China where devices are made for Amazon.com, after a watchdog group in the U.S. criticized what it called harsh labor conditions at the plant.

In a report of 94 pages China Labor Watch, based in New York outlined an nine-month investigation that cited excessive work weeks, low wages, lack of training and too much reliance on temporary workers that violates the law in China at the Hunan province plate in Hengyang, which makes Kindle e-readers and Echo Dot speakers.

A statement released by the company said it was making a complete investigation of areas that were raised in the recent report and if they find the report to be correct, immediate actions will then be taken to bring any operations needed back into compliance.

Foxconn, known previously as Hon Hai Precision Industry, is the largest contract electronics maker in the world and employs over one million people.

The company, which is also the maker of Apple’s iPhones, was criticized heavily in 2010 following several suicides at its plants across China, and pledged at that time to improve the working conditions at its factories.

The watchdog group said that its investigation discovered that close to 40% of Foxconn workers at the location in question were temporary workers, which far exceeds the limit of 10% in China. Temporary, or dispatch workers as they are also known, were paid the same wage for both regular hours and overtime hours, instead of being paid time and a half for overtime, said the watchdog.

Dispatch workers were paid 14.5 yuan per hour, equal to $2.26, said the report. Workers were also working over 100 hours each month of overtime in peak season, which is much more than the maximum allowed of 36 hours allowed by Chinese law, while some worked 14 straight days.

Amazon said the factory was audited in March and found that dispatch workers and overtime were issues that concerned them.

Amazon said that it immediately requested an action plan to correct the issues and said that it was monitoring the responses by Foxconn and compliances with Amazon’s Supplier Code of Conduct.

In a statement released earlier Foxconn said that it works diligently to comply with all the relevant regulations and laws where it has operations and it conducts audits on a regular basis.

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