Recently, the "Observer" and the New York-based China Labor Watch conducted an investigation of the production plant in Hengyang, Hunan Province, and dispatched members to the factory to obtain an undercover "immoral and illegal" working condition. The Guardian reported on June 9 that Amazon had admitted that it had illegally employed 8,000 dispatched employees in China to engage in the production of Echo Smart Loudspeakers and the Kindle, and expressed regret.
Amazon also revealed that the auditors visited the Foxconn factory in March and found that the factory had hired a large number of illegal dispatchers and did not pay reasonable overtime pay to these people.
It is understood that Foxconn Hengyang Industrial Park is a large-screen television manufacturing base in South China and Hunan's largest electronic information industry base, is also the Amazon China Manufacturing Center and the National Precision Mold Demonstration Park.
According to the report, in China, dispatched employees do not receive sick pay or vacation pay and are dismissed when they do not pay their wages during the production stoppage. To this end, China revised the "Labor Law" in 2014 to require that no more than 10% of the total employees be dispatched to prevent companies from using dispatched employees to cut costs.
According to a survey released jointly by China Labor Watch and the Observer, Foxconn's factories currently employ more than 40% of their staff to send employees and the number is as high as 8,000. These people calculate overtime according to normal working hours when they work overtime, not Chinese laws and 1.5 times wages as stipulated by Amazon's suppliers.
In terms of remuneration, the workers at the Hunan Hengyang plant are far lower than those of Foxconn employees in other cities in China. The basic monthly wage for workers at the Hengyang factory is 1,750 yuan (about 204 pounds), and the basic wage for Foxconn workers at the Apple factory in Shenzhen is 2,400 yuan (about 280 pounds).
The survey found that many workers earn about 233 pounds (about 2,000 yuan) per month, less than half the national wages of 530 pounds (about 4550 yuan) calculated by the Asia Floor Wage Alliance. . The hourly wage is only 14.5 yuan (equivalent to 1.69 pounds), which is one pound below the national average of Chinese factory workers of 2.69 pounds per hour.
Li Qiang, executive director of China Labor Watch, said that the reason for using dispatched employees is to save money. “The factory hires employees to act as a means to reduce manufacturing costs. Amazon only focuses on whether its supplier factories complete orders on time and is usually cold about working conditions.” As a result, workers struggle to make a living.“The basic salary of Hengyang Foxconn is not enough to make a living. Workers must work overtime to maintain a decent standard of living. The factory will even reduce overtime as a punishment.”
China Labor Watch is a non-profit organization headquartered in New York, established in 2000. It pays attention to working conditions and labor conditions of Chinese workers and improves labor rights by affecting the social responsibility standards and implementation of multinational companies.
This organization has exposed FoxconniPhoneThe factory’s strikes, the Chinese workers’ illegal employment in Saipan, and pay salaries have repeatedly pointed out that Foxconn’s factories in China have violated labor health and privacy. However, the “China Business” reported that the organization had been unintentionally exposed by former employees and that the quality of the report was questionable and alleged that the purpose of the investigation was not pure.
In response to the above accusations, Amazon responded in its statement: “Amazon attaches great importance to reporting violations of the supplier code of conduct. As far as Foxconn Hengyang Factory is concerned, Amazon confirmed that there are two problems through the latest audit in March of this year. We immediately asked the Foxconn Hengyang factory. Formulate error correction programs to specify their rectification measures to identify problems. We regularly evaluate and monitor compliance with suppliers’ code of conduct and are committed to ensuring that these issues are addressed.”
In order to complete the investigation, the investigators of China Labor Watch also used to send employees to work at the Hengyang factory for a month. In the report, he wrote that the workers were exhausted, slammed on the work bench during the break, and tried to sleep for a few minutes.
According to the survey, workers can work overtime up to 80 hours per month instead of the 36 hours allowed by law. However, the company safely avoided supervision. In addition, workers need permission from their superiors to go to the bathroom.
Last month, Li Qiang wrote to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to explain the findings. "this is a violation of China's Labor Law," the letter said. Foxconn uses a large number of dispatched staff, through which workers' interests are violated. The practice itself is immoral and illegal. "I hope you can force your suppliers to improve their working environment and make Amazon products under ethical conditions."
In response, Karaha Knight Hearst Kara Hartnett Hurst, head of global sustainability at Amazon, wrote back: "Amazon recognizes its responsibility to ensure the health of workers who make products for Amazon."
The Guardian commented that Bezos is worth about 83 billion pounds, and Foxconn CEO Gou is worth about 6.1 billion pounds. For a long time, Amazon and Foxconn have been criticized for the treatment of workers, but this is the first time the Amazon manufacturing team has been investigated.
The party involved in the incident, Foxconn, responded to the company policy that it has always strictly followed and did not comment on current or potential customers and products. In a statement, it stated that the company provided a positive working environment and was committed to ensuring that all its businesses met industry standards. "Foxconn strives to comply with all relevant laws and regulations in all markets and conduct regular audits. If violations are found, they will be corrected immediately."