COVID-19 poses risks to workers in global supply chains, including those in the electronics sector, and in particular workers in vulnerable conditions such as migrant workers. Such risks and impacts have been documented in the mining sector in Latin America as well as in electronics manufacturing in Asia (incl. China (incl Hong Kong), India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam), Europe (e.g., Czech Republic and Italy), and Latin America (e.g., Brazil and Mexico).
Workers in electronics supply chains are faced with conditions including:
- loss of working hours and wages, job loss and lack of severance pay, and subsequent inability to cover basic needs,
- restriction of movement (inability to return to home towns or to leave internships),
- suspension of collective bargaining agreements and cancellation of wage increases,
- health and safety risks (e.g., lack of protective equipment, lack of social distancing measures, request to return to or stay at work despite health and safety risks and under threat of non-payment of wages, continuation of production despite government request to stop production to slow spread of virus).
Sources include: Al Jazeera, China Labour Bulletin, Cividep India, Electronics Watch, Fair ICT Flanders, IndustriALL, Reuters, Responsible Business Alliance, Sedane Labour Resource Center, TEAM (Thai union).
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