On November 26th, 2015, China Labor Watch received a complaint through email, saying that a worker passed away because of a heart attack whilst working at Dongguan Chenming Electronic Company Ltd (Taiwan Stock Exchange code: 3013). The worker who wrote the email suspected that the victim had died of excessive overtime work. Sometimes, workers had to work over a month without even a day off. Furthermore, they may be required to work overtime all night. After receiving this complaint, CLW decided to send an investigator to Chengming to conduct an undercover investigation.
Whilst working at Chengming, our investigator found severe violations in work hours, occupational safety, and other aspects. In some occasions, workers are forced to work overtime, putting in overtime hours adding up to 165 hours a month, and only have one day off in three months. Some workers feel exhausted and want to have some rest, however during peak production season, such requests are usually not approved. Upon finishing the investigation, we sent information with regards to the various violations at the factory to Chengming’s clients, including IBM, HP, Acer, ASUS, Intel, HTC, Fujitsu, Huawei, and other renowned multinational companies. Among the responses we received from these companies, some claimed they already ceased business relations with Chengming, some quoted Chengming’s response and denied almost all charges, and others had promised to conduct an investigation or third part audit, however, rarely made improvements to working conditions. At first, ASUS replied that it had been three years since their last cooperation with Chengming. However, we then sent them photos of workers producing ASUS products. ASUS promised to undergo a follow-up investigation, but till now, we have yet to receive any response. Fujitsu replied that it would begin improving working conditions, but still we haven’t seen any progress.
Principal Labor Rights Violations
The interview includes a physical examination, paid by the worker and costing 40 RMB.
The factory does not strictly adhere to the terms of the employment contract.
Some positions have work shifts that last up to 15 hours, with only one day off through the course of an entire month. Overtime hours worked in these positions add up to around 165 hours per month.
Workers must arrive and begin working 15 minutes before their scheduled hours, they are not paid for this time as it is not technically on the clock.
At times, workers must go 3 months without a single day off.
Forced labor is present at the factory.
Workers only have 25 minutes for morning and afternoon meals.
The monthly wage is around 2000 RMB (308USD), 400 RMB per week (62USD), 10RMB (1.54USD) per hour.
In the worker’s dormitories, there is only one machine that dispenses filtered water, it is on the 3rd Floor.
New workers do not undergo any pre-work safety training, nor do they learn how to operate the machines properly.
Workers are not given any fire safety training.
It is difficult to apply for resignation during peak work periods.
Those who choose to resign receive their wages 20 days after resignation.
If the New Year is approaching, new workers are required to work until the end of February before they can resign.
UNEEC does not have an effective union, workers do not have a means to communicate or handle problems.