Manufacturing News

Nokia leads ethical supply chain, wages study

A report on
the supply chains of 39 technology companies has found that only one, Nokia,
was able to ensure a “living wage” to everyone involved in making their products.

AAP reports that the two-year investigation by Baptist World Aid Australia covered the
entire supply chains of some of the biggest names in electronics, from raw
materials to assembly, and relied on feedback from companies and publicly
available data.

The guarantee
of a living wage – not considered by the report as the legal minimum but enough
to pay for basic needs – was only demonstrated by Nokia, according to The Electronics Industry Trends Report.

“Of the 39 companies analysed, only Nokia was able to
provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate that workers were receiving [pay]
above the legal minimum,” read the report, as cited by technology news website ZDNet.

“It is worth noting that both Microsoft and Samsung also
claim to pay above minimum wage, however at the time of publishing we had not
received sufficient documentary evidence to verify this.”

Key areas included
child labour, supply chain transparency and a support for workers’ rights,
including the ability to collectively bargain.

“It’s really critical that these
companies do have adequate safeguards in place because if they don’t there is a
reasonable probability that they are engaging in slave labour,” Gershon
Nimbalker from BWA told AAP.

Nimbalker told Fairfax that modelling showed the average smartphone would cost only $2 to
$9 more if its maker ensured a living wage to all in its global supply chain.


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