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Nokia leads ethical supply chain, wages study

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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.

Image: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/

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