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. Just recently, a report found that Amazon's warehouses are one of the most dangerous workplaces in the country, according to Gizmodo.
China Labor Watch released an investigative report titled "Amazon Profits from Secretly Oppressing Its Supplier's Workers," which details the deplorable conditions for employees at a factory in China. Over nine months between August 2017 to August 2018, investigators found that Hengyang Foxconn, a factory producing Echo Dots and Kindles, violated labor laws. The biggest violations surrounded the factory's use of "dispatch workers," which are temporary employees. These dispatch workers were paid normal rates for overtime hours and received only three to eight hours of training instead of the mandated 24. Moreover, a whopping 40 percent of workers are dispatch workers, when there should only be 10 percent. These workers often face 60-hour work weeks and are pushed to the point of exhaustion, reported The Guardian.
As Bezos claimed the title as the richest man in the world, reports pile in that show that Amazon is treating their workers badly, both in the U.S. and beyond. At the Hengyang Foxconn factory, employees make around $312 to $468 per month, well below the average monthly wage in the area, which is around $725 a month. And while dispatch workers put in over 100 hours of overtime a month during the peak season, they're only supposed to work more than 36 overtime hours. In some instances, dispatch workers toiled 14 days consecutively without a break.In light of these allegations, Amazon has said that it completed an internal audit of the factory, and found "two issues of concern." A spokesperson added details.
"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."Moreover, the report by China Labor Watch detailed how staff dormitories lack basic fire safety precautions, including the lack of emergency exits or fire extinguishers. There's not enough safety equipment, no labor union, and managers subject their employees to verbal abuse.
Regardless, Bezos is bold enough to state in the past, that "I'm very proud of our working conditions and very proud of the wages we pay."