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Foxconn scrutinizing harsh working conditions at factory for Amazon products

12 June 2018

Contract manufacturer Foxconn said on Sunday it is investigating a plant in China that makes devices for Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O), after a us watchdog group criticized what it described as harsh working conditions at the factory.

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., better known as Foxconn Technology Group and one of the world's largest and most successful manufacturing companies, is a company not exactly short of a bob or two: In the last couple of years it has paid out billions of pounds to acquire Sharp and Belkin while also pledging to open a U.S. factory in Wisconsin.

The situation is often even worse for "dispatch workers", or temporary staff who are brought into the factory when more hands are needed.

Foxconn's facility in Hengyang, which makes Amazon products, has been accused of poor working conditions.

Dispatch workers were paid 14.5 yuan per hour, equal to $2.26, said the report.

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Foxconn, for its part, has said it will be investigating the claims.

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

Amazon has the ability to not only ensure its supplier factories respects the rights of workers but also that there is equal pay for equal work.

Workers tasked to build Echos and Kindles at a factory in Hengyang, China, are subjected to grueling working conditions, low wages, and practices that violate the country's labor laws.

During each month of peak production season, workers have to put in over 100 hours of overtime.

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Amazon said it immediately asked for an action plan after identifying "two issues of concern" at the plant in March.

Amazon said it took action against the violations, including a request for a "corrective action plan" from the Hengyang factory as well as "regular assessments" to be sure that Foxconn enacts the necessary changes.

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.

"Other major issues at the factory include 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", CLW added.

The online retailing giant said it is monitoring Foxconn's response and "compliance with our Supplier Code of Conduct. We are committed to ensuring these issues are resolved".

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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.

Foxconn scrutinizing harsh working conditions at factory for Amazon products