Ford is looking into report by a human rights group alleging abuse of workers at factory run by one of its suppliers in China.
The accusations came in a report by the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights entitled ‘Dirty Parts: Where Lost Fingers Come Cheap’. It featured a picture of a mangled hand missing three fingers and accuses Yuwei Plastics and Hardware Product Company in Dongguan of paying its workers 80 cents per hour and of making them work 14-hour shifts, seven days a week, making auto parts.
The report cited employees as saying that 80% of the parts are sold to Ford.
According to the report, the disfigured hand belonged to a 21-year-old worker who got it trapped in a heavy stamping machine after his employer allegedly told him to turn an infrared safety device off in order to be able to work faster.
The worker is said to have received US$7,430 compensation for the loss of three fingers and the report added that, in the US, compensation for a similar injury would be in the region of US$144,292.
The report highlighted other serious injuries over several years and minor injuries every one to two months.
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Ford said in a statement: “We take these allegations seriously and are investigating the situation. Ford has a strong commitment to human rights and workplace safety, and we expect our suppliers to comply with local laws and our Code of Basic Working Conditions.”
The company was trying to establish if the factory is one its 1,500 direct suppliers or one of thousands of indirect suppliers around the world.