03 July 2008
Toyota's supply chain is "riddled" with overworked and underpaid staff, according to a campaign group.
A study by workers' rights organisation the National Labor Committee (NLC), which interviewed staff in Toyota's supply chain, found some employees were "forced" to work 97-hour weeks. The workers were found in sub-contracted factories in Japan that produce parts for the car firm.
A spokeswoman for Toyota told SM: "As the wellbeing of our workforce and suppliers is one of our highest priorities, we are taking the [NLC] allegations seriously."NLC said 10,000 employees in Toyota's supply chain are temporary staff who have few rights and are on short-term contracts. They earn a base rate of 200,000 Yen (£940) a month and receive "significantly" lower benefit payments than full-time workers.
It also reported that one employee collapsed and died in a factory after working 155 hours of overtime in a month. In a court hearing Toyota were ordered to pay his family a pension.
The company consistently ranks top of the Supplier Working Relation Index, which examines relationships between six of the largest car manufacturers and their suppliers.