100 hours of overtime a month: Inside the factory making Amazon products

Credit Reuters

Amazon has been criticised by China Labour Watch over the conditions for workers at a factory that produces the company's Kindles, Echo Dots, and tablets. More than 40% of the staff there were temporary employees, while China only allows 10% of any workforce to be temps.

Amazon has been accused of poor working conditions in Chinese factories building Kindle and Echo smart speakers.

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.

The China Labor Watch report also says that, while working conditions were different for regular and dispatch workers, "all workers are subject to long hours and low wages".

Dispatch workers earned just 14.5 yuan ($2.97) per hour, the report found.

Foxconn, for its part, has said it will be investigating the claims.

In its statement to the British publication, Amazon said: "Amazon takes reported violations of our supplier code of conduct extremely seriously". Dispatch workers were also treated very differently than regular workers, receiving far less safety training and no overtime wages.

It's report controversially alleges that Amazon "profits from secretly oppressing its supplier's workers".

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An undercover investigator at the factory found agency workers clocking up 80 hours of overtime in a month, exceeding the 36 hours permitted by law.

Amazon said it audited the factory in March and found overtime and use of dispatch workers were "issues of concern".

The watchdog group China Labor Watch, based out of NY, released a study over the weekend relating the conditions under which workers in the factory function. Kara Hartnett Hurst, Amazon's head of worldwide sustainability replied and said that they will ensure the well-being of the factory workers.

These reports prompted Foxconn to pledge to improve working conditions.

Amazon said that it immediately requested an action plan to correct the issues and said that it was monitoring the responses by Foxconn and compliances with Amazon's Supplier Code of Conduct. It attracted widespread scrutiny after a spate of worker suicides at a plant in southern China making Apple products several years ago. "We are committed to ensuring these issues are resolved", the company added.

Foxconn said that it "works hard to comply with all relevant laws and regulations in all markets where we operate".

"If infractions are identified, we work to immediately rectify them", it was quoted as saying in an emailed statement.

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