Amazon Slammed Over "Unethical And Illegal" Chinese Factory Conditions

Foxconn Technology Group said on Sunday that it is investigating its Chinese factory that makes Amazon devices, after new evidence from the New York-based China Labor Watch exposed the “unethical and illegal” working conditions at the manufacturing plant.

We are carrying out a full investigation of the areas raised by the report, and if found to be true, immediate actions will be taken to bring the operations into compliance with our Code of Conduct,” Taiwan-based Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., explained to Reuters.

The findings were disclosed in a 94-page report released by China Labor Watch, which conducted a nine-month investigation of working conditions at the Foxconn factory in the city of Hengyang which manufactures Amazon’s Kindle, Echo smart speaker, Echo Dots, and an array of tablets.

During the investigation, the advocacy group said it discovered that dispatch workers made up more than 40% of the Hengyang Foxconn’s workforce, a significant rights violation of the legally mandated 10% ceiling. Dispatch workers were also treated very differently than regular workers, the report explains how regular workers receive extra sums of money for overtime hours, and their wages are well above the standard of living; however, dispatch workers earn 14.5 RMB/hour (USD 2.26) with no extra pay for overtime.

China Labor Watch provides a full summary of the rights violations at Hengyang Foxconn plant: 

  • The investigation took place during the factory’s off-season and it was discovered around 40% of the total number of workers were dispatch workers. Chinese labor law stipulates that dispatch workers must not exceed 10% of the total workforce.

  • Before starting work, dispatch workers need to pay 50 RMB ($7.86 USD) to cover physical examination fees. Some regular workers reported having to pay 60 RMB ($9.47 USD) for the physical examination, while others did not pay any fees.

  • Chinese law stipulates pre-job training to be at least 24 hours, however, dispatch workers only receive eight hours of pre-job safety training.

  • Many dispatch workers do not receive a copy of their labor contract.

  • Sick leave is unpaid for dispatch workers. Regular workers have 20% deducted from their day’s wages for sick leave.

  • Dormitories for both regular and dispatch workers do not have emergency exits. The dormitory area for dispatch workers does not have a fire extinguisher and escape routes are not labelled. Fire drills are not performed in the dormitory area.

  • Workers are required to arrive to their work positions ten minutes before their shift starts and these ten minutes are uncompensated.

  • All workers are subject to long hours and low wages. As wages are low, workers must rely on overtime hours to earn enough to maintain a decent standard of living.

  • During each month of peak production season, workers have to put in over 100 hours of overtime. However, Chinese law stipulates monthly overtime cannot exceed 36 hours. During peak season, there was an instance of workers working 14 days continuously without a day off.

  • During off-season, the factory schedules dispatch workers to go on leave, resulting in these workers having no wages. Additionally, the factory management will schedule no overtime for regular workers. Due to their low wages, by not allowing workers to work overtime, it forces workers to resign of their own volition. If workers are late, have an unexcused absence, or are on sick leave, the production line leader will also reduce their number of overtime hours. Due to a low base wage, it is a punishment for workers to not be able to work overtime during off-peak season.

  • Workers earn an hourly wage of 14.5 RMB ($2.26 USD) regardless of whether they worked normal hours or overtime hours, which includes a 1 RMB ($0.16 USD) attendance bonus. If the worker takes more than two days off or if they are late more than twice a month, their month’s wages would be calculated by a 13.5 RMB/hour ($2.11 USD) standard.

  • Workers do not earn enough to maintain a decent standard of living during off-season. During off season, on average, regular workers earn 2,000 RMB ($312.12 USD) a month and dispatch workers earn 2,500 RMB ($390.16 USD) a month. The average monthly wage in Hengyang in 2017 was 4,647 RMB ($725.22 USD)

In a recent press statement, Amazon said it thoroughly audited the Hengyang factory in March and asked Foxconn to address “issues of concern” related to dispatch workers and overtime.

“Amazon takes reported violations of our Supplier Code of Conduct extremely seriously. Amazon regularly assesses suppliers, using independent auditors as appropriate, to monitor continued compliance and improvement. In the case of the Foxconn Hengyang factory, Amazon completed its most recent audit in March 2018 and identified two issues of concern. 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. We are committed to ensuring that these issues are resolved.”

However, this is not the first time a Foxconn manufacturing facility has been criticized for lousy working conditions. In 2010, the company’s factory in Shenzhen which manufactures Apple’s iPhones saw an increased rate of worker suicides, due to illegal working conditions. Although Foxconn promised that it would improve conditions, however, in 2012, around 150 workers threatened their managers with suicide, if wages were not raised.

Foxconn said in an earlier statement that it “works hard to comply with all relevant laws and regulations” where it operates and conducts regular audits. “If infractions are identified, we work to immediately rectify them,” the statement said.

Predictably, there was instant recoil by Amazon once the report was published: “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.”

As a reminder, it was a month and a half ago when Jeff Bezos was booed by European Amazon workers for the company's working conditions there. We can only imagine what goes on in Amazon's Chinese facilities.


ravolla wadalt Tue, 06/12/2018 - 01:06 Permalink

Good to see my man Wadalt and our newbies  ll951983  and  gzcekkyret back out from under the couch with  Hot Pockets and back on the threads SPAMMING like a Grease Fire!!!! 

Biblicism = TodaysFox ("I made $7000 sucking cock on the Internet")  SAME SPAMMER!

R.I.P.   "Mr Hankey" who has joined "The Fallen Spammers" -- banned for pathological over the top whackism.

THIS is an important week here in the SPAMMER's BUNKHOUSE.  You see, there are dozens of "personalities" living in this one single sad SPAMMER's sick little mind, which he calls "Spammer's Bunkhouse."  How sick is that?

This week I (we?) are celebrating SEVEN YEARS here on ZH, obsessively SPAMMING every thread we can with off-topic comments.

SAD BUT TRUE!!  I (we?) have wasted my (our) youth (or at least the last seven years) with at least one hand in my pants and the other hand SPAMMING ZH.  Yes, indeed.  DOZENS and DOZENS (maybe hundreds) of log-on's banned -- 
>>  "I made $7500 last week on the Internet sucking cock!": that's me.
>>  Biblicism: that's me.
>>  All the porn at Celebrity-leaks: that's me.
>>  Daily Westerner: that's me.

>>  "In the news....SPAMMER broomsticked by furious readers" -- registered in Nigeria) :: that's me TOO!! 

That's our life (all of us living in Master Spammer's Mind): mopping the floor at the Porn Cinema at 2am, working the drive-thru window at SONIC, sucking cock on the Internet, and spamming ZH with an enormous Excel spreadsheet of the log-on's of dozens of "digital friends" who upvote one another and virtually suck my little micro penis..

MEET my current imaginary friends.  We all live in one SPAMMER's HEAD but as for me, I have gone off the reservation.  These other "personalities" are pretty troubled.

ll951983  <<< NEWBIE  sucks cock on the Internet!
  <<<  NEWBIE
Cheoll   <<<  NEWBIE

Mr Hankey    <<<  total utter WHACK JOB  -- joined "The Fallen"
gzcekkyret     <<<  NEWBIE

You know SPAMMERS never die on ZH -- here's just a sampling of the banned log-on's ("The Fallen Spammers") ---

 beepbop, pier, lloll, loebster, ergatz, armada, Mtnrunnr, Anonymous, luky luke, Cjgipper, winged, moimeme, macki mack, tchubby, sincerely_yours, HillaryOdor, winged, lexxus, kavlar, lhomme, letsit, tazs, techies-r-us, stizazz, lock-stock, beauticelli, Mano-A-Mano, mofio, santafe, Aristotle of Greece, Gargoyle, bleu, oops, lance-a-lot, Loftie, toro, Yippee Kiyay, lonnng, Nekoti, SumTing Wong, King Tut, Adullam, evoila, rp2016, alt right dude, altright-girl, alt-right girl, Blufin, Schlomo Scheklestein, BraveForce, Mr Hankey

In reply to by wadalt

philipat ravolla Tue, 06/12/2018 - 03:20 Permalink

You stole MY list and adulterated it. I don't agree with all your additions. Also, I think you are losing the plot. Replacing one spammer with your own spam is not going to endear you to a critical audience. I would respectfully suggest that you leave it alone. Everyone one here knows "The Biblicism Guy" and routinely downvote him. An occasional reminder of his past and presnt affiliations is enough, you have gone OTT IMHO.

In reply to by ravolla

Francis Marx Mon, 06/11/2018 - 22:54 Permalink

 It will be a forgotten by tomorrow. Nobody cares about the civilians we kill invading all the country's the past 30 years. So who's going to care about millions of Chinese workers.

Oldguy05 Oldguy05 Mon, 06/11/2018 - 23:20 Permalink

I forget who you are....person that down votes my every post. I remember calling you out and being my asshole self a couple/few months ago. It's not fair that I forget who the hell you are and you just trash me. I'd be done with it by now. In fact I am. Apparently you are not. Would you like a chocolate milk or some such imbibement?

In reply to by Oldguy05

Endgame Napoleon Francis Marx Mon, 06/11/2018 - 23:37 Permalink

Other than the dormitories, the fact that they have more steady work than US citizens in our churn/gig/part-time economy, the fact that the wages are so much lower than in America and the fact that the medical exam that cost $7.86 there would cost $200 in the USA, the working conditions do not sound much worse than the working conditions in various industries throughout the American South. American elites shifted the job gains from the technology that was mostly developed here in the USA, using lots of government & corporate dollars, to Asia. They likewise deprived their country of SS contributions that would have otherwise been made.

In reply to by Francis Marx

LOL123 Mon, 06/11/2018 - 23:06 Permalink

And now we know why these international trade officials don't like the humanist Trump vs coaltion of corporate vultures and parasites.

This would be America's future if Amazon China model were to go unchallenged legally.

Oldguy05 red1chief Mon, 06/11/2018 - 23:32 Permalink

You can get some decent HAM radios there. No Alexa bullshit. Use the enemy for what they offer.

edit: Bezos is an asshole, but if he gives me a way to take him and his fellow globalists down I'm all over it!

Pssst...I prolly shoudna said anything ;)


2nd edit: That squrriley person that spells Nmewn's name wrong and messes with Nmewn's every post is a fvcktard.

Nmewn is a descent mutha fuckin asshole and if you go after him it will have to be through me you piece of shit! I am not what you think I am and not anything you want to find out about. I'll breathe hard and use my new portable oxygen generator....I'm mobile now you ass. Leave my old friend alone!


3rd edit: Not you Redchief:)

In reply to by red1chief

Endgame Napoleon Mouldy Mon, 06/11/2018 - 23:57 Permalink

Peace & stability will be achieved there through a peace agreement that uses a foolproof, time-honored and non-kumbaya approach: mutually assured destruction.

He does not attack them, and they do not attack him.

Proceeds from the sale of the technology to SK should be put toward the deficit, but CONgress will spend it on more pay raises for themselves, more tax cuts for billionaires, millionaires and assorted six-figure types, in addition to more unfair child tax credits to reward citizens and noncitizens for womb productivity.

They will—as usual—distract from their greed with a cutesy baby theme. 

Then the troops will come home, bringing more opportunities for CONgress to be responsible so that SS will be saved, and the USA does not become dependent on the kindness of unkind strangers, like Greece.

That is when CONgress will decide that it is time for another set of tax cuts to appease the offshorers, outsourcers and other cheap-labor users, like the employers of welfare-fed legal / illegal immigrants, plus another pay raise for itself.

In reply to by Mouldy

TrustbutVerify Tue, 06/12/2018 - 00:14 Permalink

Americans, for all their claims of caring about slave labor, don't really care at all.  And that lack of caring obviously dovetails with their shortsightedness in regard to their own families, neighborhoods, cities, counties and even states.  They buy foreign slave labor goods as fast as they can - much preferring to send their money overseas than to buy something they know is made in the United States.  Who really cares about American jobs, families, neighborhoods, cities, etc.,  when a couple of bucks can be saved on a foreign product?  And those American sounding iconic brands?  Are they made in the USA?  For the most part, no.  But who cares?  Americans don't.  Though they pretend to.  

not-me---it-wa… Tue, 06/12/2018 - 01:04 Permalink

this is all BS!  who is this "china labor watch" that investigates chinese working conditions?  could it be another bellingcat or syrian observatory?  who funds them?

these reports are prepared for western consumption, tailor-made with media talking points for people unfamiliar with china.

regardless of the conditions, they are infinitely superior to what these migrant workers experienced in their villages back home.  there they work 14 hours a day, 7 days a week, walking in mud and cow poop up to their knees.....for on average 200 rmb per month.  about 30 bucks.  subsistence farmers, villages without running water, single power cable into a house powering one bare bulb, communal outhouses that dump into the rice paddies or fish ponds.

foxconn factories are suuuuper awesome.  they leave the village, travel to the build-shit megalopoliseses, work for three years with only the golden week pilgrimages back home.  but when they return, they can live like kings.  saved enough to build a modern house, furnish with modern conveniences, support a wife, in short live the american dream.

apparently the "investigation" was done during the off-season, presumably golden week, when the factories are closed except for a skeleton crew.  of course the full time employees are back home, and part timers are filling in!

suicides?  so foxconn put up a safety net to prevent suicides.  so what?  the reports on this failed to mention the suicide rate among foxconn employees was less than half that of the general population.

overtime?  you're joking....forced overtime?  hahahah!  these men live for overtime.  they're there without their families for the sole purpose of making their fortune, begging for overtime.  to meet government regulations, foxconn has to enact security measures, key cards, passwords, rollcalls, erectlonic rocks, to PREVENT workers from getting too much overtime. 

the pay rate is irrelevant, other than the affect on western readers.  the dispatch workers, part timers, are being paid ABOVE the national average.  assuming a 40-hour week, they'd be getting about 2500 rmb per month.  of course china don't do 40-hour weeks.  general unskilled labor would get around 1500 rmb per month, 10 hour days, and ONE DAY OFF per month.

i'm done.  thank you.





nati Tue, 06/12/2018 - 03:18 Permalink

This is no big deal, these same conditions are coming to factories all across the USA soon and people will line up to get them one of those illegal and unethical jobs, because the smartphone ain't gonna pay for itself.