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HP is following in the footsteps of Apple and other major manufacturers in their stance against overseas labor abuse. The company recently gave their Chinese suppliers a new set of guidelines with regards to the use of student and temporary workers, according to a new report from the New York Times.
New rules state that workers must be present on a voluntary basis and should be allowed to leave without consequence. Furthermore, local rules and regulations concerning working age and hours must be met while students can only work on projects that complement their area of study. HP mandates that the number of student workers be limited as plants should be mostly staffed with full-time employees.
We are told that suppliers are being asked to comply with the new rules ASAP and that progress will be monitored via regular audits.
Senior vice president of Worldwide Supply Chain Operations Tony Prophet said HP has a history of leadership in proactively addressing labor issues and driving supply chain improvements. He noted that HP worked closely with leading Chinese stakeholders to come up with the new guidelines to ensure the highest standards of ethical workforce management.
The company pointed out that there are more than 1,000 production suppliers in their chain and even more that contribute nonproduction supplies spanning more than 45 countries and territories across the globe. The paper said it should be easier for HP to implement changes as they have a steady production cycle over the course of a year as opposed to a company like Apple that ramps up production just a few times a year.