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Amazon criticized over conditions at supplier's factory

By midian182 · 12 replies
Jun 10, 2018
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  1. The investigation discovered that 40 percent of the factory’s workers were agency staff, who receive no sick pay and can be instantly let go when demand falls. China introduced a law four years ago that ensures these workers make up only 10 percent of a company’s workforce—an attempt to stop firms from exploiting the temporary workers.

    It was also found that overtime at the factory was being paid at a standard hourly rate, rather than the legally required time-and-a-half. In peak season, some employees put in 100 hours of overtime, and there were instances of people working 14 days in a row. Chinese law says monthly overtime cannot exceed 36 hours.

    Workers at the factory also get lower wages than Foxconn employees in other Chinese locations. According to The Guardian, their standard 1750 yuan per month ($273) is less than the 2,400 yuan ($374) per month received by those at Foxconn’s Shenzen factory, which manufactures Apple’s products. That amount is around half the country’s national living wage.

    Other issues included employees not receiving adequate safety training, being required to arrive at their stations 10 minutes before their shifts begin and not being paid for this time, and a lack of fire safety precautions in staff dorms.

    Amazon said it found two of the violations—excessive overtime and use of agency staff—during an audit of the factory in March. “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,” Amazon said. “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.”

    Permalink to story.

  2. petert

    petert TS Evangelist Posts: 320   +138

    Ya wanna hear a shocking story? you can have the same in UK - low wages, poor conditions, improper training and dishonest advertising of the job - all via an agency. It is what I call modern slavery - when hired by an agency there is no promotion, no salary increase and so on - you can work an entire life until you retire on a minimum wage. True story ... especially where you have seasonal work (I.e. they hire you in August and fire you back in January). And you can have seasonal work in many more sectors than you would expect - for instance clothing retail, they bang a lot in this period, but not so much in the rest of the year. The agency sits between you and the company - you are a contractor - the agency acts as HR (I.e. tell you when you didn't achieved the performance ratings) and so on. The company likes it as long as their name isn't smeared.
    These being said, Amazon failed on a single point. Let's face it, it is not like they are going to create their own subsidiary in China with their own paid people and stuff and enforce their own work ethic - nope, most likely they are going to subcontract to the lowest bidder. However, QC and operational management basic tenets say to follow the processes involved even at the supplier's place, especially if you are concerned about the quality or rejection rates of your products. Basic checks include also stuff like operator or worker backgrounds and health and safety standards. Very easy to cut corners with these, especially against tight deadlines and I suspect this is what Amazon has done. I also suspect they don't give a crap about QC either, leaving it to the Chinese supplier ... which might not be ok, I believe they chosen the cheapest bider which probably won't go the extra mile to ensure that Amazon's products are quality stuff.
  3. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,380   +2,036

    Its exactly the same in the US. There are entire divisions of major companies staffed entirely by temps. Corporations make the rules because the business elite are also the political elite - its a revolving door. Complaining, petitioning, none of it matters. If you decide to organize a strike or make trouble some other way you'll be replaced with an illegal alien. That's why the big companies want zero border security, and the biggest are already replacing cashiers with self-service terminals. Before long they'll do away with all employees except for a handful of illegals who will command the robots that unload the trucks, stock the shelves, etc. I wonder who will buy all the Big Macs and cheap Chinese goods at Wal-Mart when the middle class no longer has any income?
  4. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,839   +193

    Yes that's right it's the same here in the USA.. Amazon wants cheap labor and who's left here has to suffer. No breaks or food breaks if you work Part-time in State of Florida. Can't believe that check online. They have to pay you still. Some don't want you to go to the rest room slows down production.
  5. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,600   +573

    What's the surprise? Let's do that work here in the US and it won't bundle your shorts. Oh I see.....you just wanna complain and not do anything. Got it
  6. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,753   +1,029

    You want cheap crap? Then this is what you get. You want quality, you have to pay more.
    So far, consumers would rather have cheap and quick.
  7. tomkaten

    tomkaten TS Maniac Posts: 243   +160

    Companies verging on being valued in the trillions and people slaving away for pocket change to earn them more. Capitalism gone morally wrong right there.

    For every job a big company needs done you have the compulsory interloping leeches getting most of the money for "managing" things. First hand experience on that, unfortunately. So sick of this world...
    antiproduct and wiyosaya like this.
  8. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 4,601   +3,062

    Our consumer based economy is the leading cause of much of this. We have allowed ourselves to be programed to have more, more, more to the point we simply look to buy more regardless of whether we need it or not. Were it not the case companies like Amazon never would have grown beyond book sellers. As long as we continue this insane game it will continue to get worse......
  9. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,600   +573

    Capitalism? In China? Go back to history class
  10. tomkaten

    tomkaten TS Maniac Posts: 243   +160

    Amazon are Chinese ? Why do you think they go to China, for the lovely weather ? Foxconn or not, they don't care as long as the dough is overflowing.

    Watch "Silicon Valley", USA is Gavin Belson.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
    wiyosaya likes this.
  11. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,177   +1,620

    Couldn't agree more!
    Says the guy who prescribes pills for a living.
  12. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,600   +573

    Huh? You are taking pills
  13. wizardB

    wizardB TS Booster Posts: 133   +28

    Welcome to globalization this is what corporations want a constant stream of compliant workers. The globalists love whats happening and fight any that speak out against like your president does and the papers will tell you how awful all who speak out against it are, using names like Nazis, Racists and all they want are your lives for cheap.
    EClyde likes this.

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