Amazon Criticized Over Labor Conditions at Foxconn Factory

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Amazon is once again under fire, as a China Labor Watch report detailing the cruel conditions of Foxconn factory workers hit the web, pointing out the grueling work days required to assemble and clean devices like the Kindle or the Echo.

Amazon/China Labour WatchAmazon Echo Dot, and inset, the Hengyang Foxconn factory in which it is made.

It found workers putting in more overtime hours than permitted by Chinese labor law, which limits overtime to 36 hours per month.

It's not much of a surprise to hear that an overseas Amazon factory in China was violating the country's labor laws, especially when the company is known to overwork and underpay their employees in the United States.

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"All workers are subject to long hours and low wages", the report said, adding that workers at Foxconn's plant in Hengyang in Hunan Province made an average of US$2.26 per hour.

A Foxconn factory in China is being investigated by its owner, after a USA watchdog alleged serious workplace violations at the plant.

A U.S. watchdog group has criticized Amazon and contract manufacturer Foxconn over what it described as harsh working conditions at a China factory that makes Amazon's Echo speakers and Kindle e-readers, Reuters reports.

The report also found workers did not receive adequate safety training and that factory dorm rooms did not adhere to fire safety guidelines. Most of the staff, including temporary workers, put in more than 100 hours overtime per month during the peak season. These workers often face 60-hour work weeks and are pushed to the point of exhaustion, reported The Guardian.

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"In the case of the Foxconn Hengyang factory, Amazon completed its most recent audit in March 2018 and identified two issues of concern", Amazon said in a statement.

"During interviews with 20 employees, China Labour Watch found that 2,000, or 44% of Hengyang Foxconn's total workforce of 4,500 were "dispatch" employees, who work on temporary contracts". Amazon regularly assesses suppliers, using independent auditors as appropriate, to monitor continued compliance and improvement.

"Amazon recognizes our responsibility to ensure the well-being of factory workers manufacturing products for Amazon", the letter said.

While working conditions in Chinese factories have been a point of concern for quite some time, with companies like Apple, Nike, Foxconn and a host of other brands having been in the spotlight recently, Amazon has now been highlighted by New York-based China Labor Watch in a report released this weekend.

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It said that regular audits were carried out "and if infractions are identified, we work to immediately rectify them".

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