CWS 3.0: February 13, 2013

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HP Moves to Protect Contingents in China

Computer maker HP issued guidelines for use of student and temporary workers at manufacturing facilities across China.

The guidelines mandate fair remuneration and social insurance. In addition, the guidelines require that:

  • All work must be voluntary. “Student and temporary workers shall be free to leave work at any time upon reasonable notice without negative repercussions, and they must have access to reliable and reprisal-free grievance mechanisms.
  • Local regulations must be followed, including regulations regarding legal working age, work environment, hours and contractual terms.
  • The number of student worker must be limited. HP has specific guidelines for how many student workers are acceptable in manufacturing facilities.
  • Student work must complement the primary area of study.

Suppliers are being asked to comply with the guidelines immediately, according to HP.

The company also plans audits to measure key performance indicators.

HP, based in Palo Alto, Calif., developed the guidelines in consultation with stakeholders such as China’s Center for Child Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility.

“Student and temporary workers are two very vulnerable groups within the Chinese workforce,” said Sanna Johnson, executive director, Center for Child Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility. “They are often entering the workplace with limited experiences and support. … These guidelines are a clear recognition of HP’s commitment to see its workforce as both a resource of today and tomorrow.”

Another company that had gotten tough on suppliers over contingent labor concerns was Apple Inc.

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