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12 June 2011 | Angeline Albert
Intel’s supply chain executives are working with supplier Foxconn to help improve working conditions at a factory in China.
In 2010, 10 employees committed suicide at the Shenzhen facility. News of the deaths prompted Intel to conduct an analysis of what had happened and an on-site audit. Foxconn, which is part of Taiwanese-owned Hon Hai Industries, makes motherboards for Intel.
Intel’s 2010 Corporate Responsibility Report said: “Like many other companies in our industry that work with this supplier, Intel was deeply concerned about this tragic situation. Executives from our supply chain organisation have been in continuing discussions with Foxconn’s senior management, and we have offered them our assistance in the form of human resources staff expertise and other general support.”
Intel joined the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition's (EICC) employee health and welfare taskforce to conduct an audit on-site to identify both major and minor areas of non-compliance to the EICC code of conduct which the company has signed up to. This code covers labour, health and safety, environment, management systems and ethics. More than 40 global IT companies and their suppliers are part of the EICC.
Intel’s audits revealed that the most common breaches of compliance in 2010 were in the areas of health and safety (including emergency preparedness), labour and working hours. The report said: “In 2011, we will further monitor the issues identified in the audit to ensure that progress continues to be made.”
Overall, the group completed 172 in-depth risk assessments of supplier facilities in 2010 (up from 74 in 2009). Areas identified as potentially high risk included employee issues, such as child labour and excessive working hours.