Amazon said it pushed Chinese factory for reforms before report published

Postado Junho 11, 2018

A watchdog group is calling on Amazon to improve conditions for workers at a factory in central China that makes Echo speakers and Kindle e-readers. If Amazon is telling the truth and has indeed changed the working conditions at the plant, it is a good first step.

Some of these violations include an illegal amount of overtime, where the workers at the Hengyang factory could work up to 80 hours of overtime a month, versus the 36 hours that are permitted by law.

China Labor Watch said its investigation found that about 40 percent of workers at the plant were dispatch workers, far exceeding the 10 percent limit under Chinese law.

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

In a statement to Bloomberg, Amazon wrote that it had completed an audit of the factory in March and has asked Foxconn to rectify these issues.

"Dispatch workers earn 14.5 RMB/hour ($2.26 USD) and are paid the same rate for normal hours and overtime hours", the report stated.

Salary reviews are conducted regularly and all full-time and temporary employees receive "both pre-job training and additional training in their assigned departments", Foxconn said in a June 10 statement.

Amazon has been accused of "dehumanising" its staff to deliver products to customers.

Bosses are said to push staff so far past breaking point that they "practically combust", while regular sackings to keep workers on their toes were described by one HR manager as "purposeful Darwinism".

In November shocking claims were made about the online retailer's newest warehouse - which the company refers to as a "fulfilment centre" - in Tilbury, Essex.

The investigation, by an undercover reporter for the Sunday Mirror who spent five weeks there, suggested workers suffer mentally and physically as they try to meet demand.

He said that some of his colleagues were so exhausted from working 55-hour weeks that they would "sleep on their feet".

While Amazon does not employ the drivers directly, the drivers, who are recruited through agencies, work via an Amazon app and follow delivery routes made by the company. The safety and well-being of our permanent and temporary associates is our number one priority'.

"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", wrote Amazon.

The company added it is monitoring Foxconn's response and 'compliance with our Supplier Code of Conduct'. "We are committed to ensuring that these issues are resolved".

Foxconn said that it "works hard to comply with all relevant laws and regulations in all markets where we operate".