It’s Not Just Apple. Factories Making Amazon Products In China Exposed For Horrible Work Conditions

Eric Lieberman | Tech and Law Reporter

A factory in China that makes Amazon products violates several labor laws and has employees working under poor conditions, according to an investigative report published Sunday by a watchdog group.

Factory workers assigned with manufacturing products like Amazon’s Kindle e-readers and Echo speakers are relatively exposed to danger and work inordinate amount of time with low pay, New York-based China Labor Watch revealed in a 97-page report.

Labor laws in China mandate that people work a maximum of 36 hours of monthly overtime, but many manufacturers at the Foxconn-owned factory in Hengyang, China, were reportedly forced to work for more than 100 hours of such time. They are also unfairly provided a standard rather than increased rate for the extra work and were paid $2.26 per hour, says China Labor Watch.

Some alleged violations include: “sick leave is unpaid for dispatch workers,” “regular workers have 20% deducted from their day’s wages for sick leave,” and a lack of emergency exits, fire extinguishers, and safety training, among other infractions.

Other Foxconn factories, specifically ones producing technology and assembling devices for Apple, have been accused of having terrible work environments, so much so that they placed suicide prevention nets against the outside of the buildings. (RELATED: Power And Billions Of Dollar: Apple’s Deal With Communist China, And Why They Did It)

“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,” reads the report’s conclusion of the findings. “Amazon’s profits have come at the expense of workers who labor in appalling working conditions and have no choice but to work excessive overtime hours to sustain a livelihood.”

The final page of the lengthy report is a letter of response from Amazon.

“Where appropriate, Amazon uses independent auditors to verify compliance with expectations in our Supplier Code of Conduct,” Kara H. Hurst, director of worldwide sustainability at Amazon, wrote. “After an assessment, a supplier must promptly provide a detailed remediation plan for each issued identified. Amazon tracks remediation closed and conducts follow-up assessments based on findings.”

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