While Amazon enjoys the success of is products like the Echo and Kindle, a watchdog group exposes the poor working conditions of its Chinese workers.
Profit Over People
These days, the tech industry thrives as long as consumers get the product with the quality they pay for. Meanwhile, manufacturers likewise make a profit if the labor is cheap but meets the standard they require. While both sides get what they want, no one pays attention to the plight of the workers who make everything possible.
Thankfully, China Labor Watch, a New York-based watchdog group reveals more about what goes on behind the scenes. So far, rumors suggest that Jeff Bezos is doing what Apple did before to earn more revenue at the expense of the average Chinese laborer.
A Lengthy Research And Investigation
To paint a clear picture of what production line workers go through in order to fulfill Amazon's manufacturing orders, the group spent nine months investigating the ins and outs of the work environment. Industry experts are already aware that most tech companies opt to take their business to China due to the cheaper cost of labor.
The online retailer outsources their manufacturing needs to Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., popularly known as Foxconn. The factory acts as the assembly line for products such as the Kindle tablets, Kindle e-book readers, the Echo, Echo Dot, and more. The data collected reveal that employees are underpaid and work in very stressful conditions.
The Results Are In
Based on their observations, the average Foxconn worker does not receive adequate safety training. Even the accommodations provided for the staff do not have fire-safety measures such as fire extinguishers. Most of the employees are just temporary staff and are above the number mandated by Chinese law.
Furthermore, even though everyone is already overworked, they are still required to clock in early and must arrive at their workstations at least 10 minutes before the shift starts. To make matters worse, even though the Chinese labor law sets the overtime limit to 36 hours each month, the company requires its workers to render more than 100 hours instead.
Awareness And Action
Amazon claims that its audit back in March only discovered problems with regarding temporary employees and overtime. The company confirms that it got in touch with Foxconn to report its findings and request to have the issues resolved. A few years back, the same Chinese company drew media attention when employees attempted suicide due to the work conditions in the factories.