Nokia and Its Chinese Workers
[ 2008-04-04 ]
Nokia and its Chinese Workers (FinnWatch and ICO, March 2005) This research project, funded by the C.S. Foundation, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, was carried out by Finnish ECA Reform Campaign, FinnWatch and ICO. The project investigated the living conditions of laborers in Nokia's Dongguan factory, as well as four of its primary supplier factories. It revealed that within the factories, there were numerous violations of Nokia's Code of Conduct and of workers' basic rights.

Executive Summary

The report focused on the labors' situations in the most important telecommunication manufacturing company — NOKIA and its main suppliers in China We try to analyze this special vulnerable group and find out the relationships between the strongest transnational company (TNC) and electronic manufacturing industry, which is the strongest supporting industry in China. We chose the Pearl River Delta, which had most developed economy, most centralized international capital and largest population of migrant labors in China as our investigation place to discuss the problems of existence of and legal rights protection migrant labors.
The researching team interviewed 61 workers and 4 managers from Mobile Telephone Company of NOKIA (Dongguan) and its four suppliers, and 4 local community residents. These five factories have hired 112,000 employees, among them 88,000 are migrant labors and 75% are women workers.
The result of the research show that although NOKIA sets the code of conduct and undertakes to monitor the suppliers' practice, in fact, it doesn't practice supervision effectively on implementation of the code of conduct and has no really incentive to encourage its factories, suppliers and workers to participate in the monitoring and practicing process. The factories and suppliers lack plan and drive of complying with the code voluntarily, and workers are unable to participate in the implementing process. The companies of NOKIA in China and its main suppliers cannot accord with the basic requirements of ILO and Chinese laws entirely. Less objectives of “Fair Labor” initiated by the 89 th International Labor Convention in June 1999 could be met.
Some advices to NOKIA and its main suppliers in China are inspection and discussion on the instruction documents of the code of conduct, and encourage suppliers and workers to participate in the supervision and executions of the code. The main content includes the following four points:
•  Beyond the code of conduct and promote the factory and its supply chain to pursue the good labour practice voluntarily.
•  Eliminate the unfair employment. No discrimination based on the gender and social origin. Adopt equal hiring, salary and social insurance policy to all staff and promote the equality of men and women and anti-discrimination against the social identity.
•  Encourage the workers to practice the freedom of association and collective bargaining rights. Let workers have an opportunity to participate in those decisions of exerting an influence on them directly.
Protect the basic rights of migrant labors and provide legal social security. Offer them chance to promote and develop.