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HP says no more than 20% of factories workforce should be student or temporary labor

HP has become the latest major electronics manufacturer to take a stance against child and student labor in China. HP is one of the largest makers of computers in the world and has recently set new limits on employment of students and temporary agency workers at factories that build its products in China.

HP's move comes after Apple, Foxconn, and Samsung all took a stand against child labor. The New York Times reports that Chinese factories have relied on high school students, vocational school students, and temporary workers for a long time to cope with surges in orders. These temporary workers are utilized because factory labor is becoming difficult to secure.

The problem for students is that some have complained that school administrators have ordered them to put in long hours at Chinese factories on short notice in tasks that have little or nothing to do with their studies. These factories reportedly pay school administrators a bonus for providing labor.

The New York Times reports that Apple announced last month that it would be making its suppliers provide more information about student workers to allow the company to closely monitor labor practices. HP has now announced that all work must be done voluntarily and that students in temporary workers should be allowed to "to leave work at any time upon reasonable notice without negative repercussions, and they must have access to reliable and reprisal-free grievance mechanisms."

HP's regulations also require that any work performed by students "must complement the primary area of study." An HP spokesperson said that the company would hold training sessions for suppliers beginning in March of this year. The company is also opening discussions with government officials, nongovernment organizations, and educational institutions concerning child labor and student labor. HP's goal is to limit the combined number of students and temporary workers employed in any factory at no more than 20% during peak periods.

Source: New York Times





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