Samsung and Panasonic’s labor investigations
Samsung and Panasonic are now facing allegations of labor abuse in Malaysia. Employees are reportedly being exploited and extremely underpaid. They have been deceived throughout the whole process, initially having to pay up to £1,000 to recruitment agencies to secure them a job, something which is forbidden by Samsung and Panasonic. The majority of workers have been hired through labor supply companies and not directly through the operating companies. Employees are forced to work for 14 hours on their feet and have restricted toilet breaks. If they wanted to leave before the end of their contract, they would have to pay a penalty of 3 months’ wages.
After these operations were discovered by the Guardian, the companies are said to be opening investigations into the alleged treatment of employees at their suppliers’ factories. The suppliers are expected to comply with the companies’ corporate social responsibility policy. If such violations are found, the suppliers will be required to solve the issues and further action may ensue.
Find more on the alleged violations here.
Amazon and DHL’s Christmas nightmare
Amazon is now facing disruptions to its deliveries after 250 contracted pilots have decided to strike. Picketing lines at several of ABX Air’s headquarters, the contracting company, were formed on Tuesday, affecting flights carrying freight for not only Amazon but also DHL. This comes after Amazon’s recent efforts to build its own transportation network, in hope of decreasing its dependency on UPS and FedEx. Due to this, Amazon has added more flights to its schedules and doubled delivery capacity. The need for more independence came after bad weather conditions in 2013, resulting in many packages not arriving until after Christmas.
The strike has already led to disruptions and could worsen if more flights are cancelled. This could result in up to millions of dollars of freight and packages being delivered later than the expected arrival date. There are not enough pilots to deal with the capacity Amazon now wants to fulfil. Because of an excessive number of emergency assignments, pilots are prevented from taking the time off they need to re-cover from the journeys. ABX Air has asked a federal judge to force the pilots back to work until arrangements can be made to satisfy the pilots and deal with the alleged staffing shortages.
To read more on the strike click here.
BMW is transforming logistics operations
BMW has announced the arrival of a fleet of ten self-driving Smart Transport Robots at its plant in Wackersdorf. This will be the first fleet of autonomous transport robots in everyday operation. Their purpose will be to transport components through the logistics department. The robots will be powered by pre-used batteries and be able to carry containers weighing up to 500 kilograms. They are also able to move freely, without the need for pre-determined pathways, using wireless transmitters to calculate position. The next stage of development will be the introduction of a 3D camera system to make navigation more precise.
The company’s goal is to reduce emissions in all steps of production. It has a whole series of pilot projects aimed at achieving this and already has some underway, for instance all-electric trucks making local deliveries. Logistics optimization is key to BMW. Improving operations through the introduction of new, innovative technologies will create more efficient and sustainable processes.
Read more information on BMW’s operations here.
Have a good weekend!