Republicans and Democrats in Congress rarely agree on anything these days, but they apparently agree on this: Amazon should intervene on behalf of a whistleblower who exposed labor violations at one of its factories in China.
Tang Mingfang revealed illegal labor practices at the Hengyang Foxconn factory, which assembles Amazon devices such as the Echo and Kindle. He spent two years in prison for his trouble, and is now appealing his conviction.
On Wednesday the Democrat co-chairs and ranking Republican minority members of the joint Congressional-Executive Commission on China wrote to the mega e-tailer’s CEO, Andy Jassy –for the second time — urging that the company support Tang.
According to the Commission, Amazon ignored its plea last summer to pressure the Chinese government to release him.
From the Feb. 16 CECC letter to Jassy:
We write to you again on behalf of labor rights advocate Tang Mingfang who was imprisoned, and reportedly tortured for leaking documents that revealed illegal labor practices in a factory producing Amazon products in Hunan province. We wrote to you on July 29, 2021, requesting Amazon advocate for Tang’s exoneration and release, but have not received a reply.
Tang recently completed his prison term and we repeat our request that you publicly support his court appeal to clear his arrest record and urge you to compensate him for the fines he was forced to pay and for serving time in prison for exposing labor abuses in your supply chain. As you are no doubt aware, the information provided by Tang led to changes at the factory that Amazon contracts with, including compensation to unpaid workers…
Tang was detained in September 2019 for “leaking confidential company information.” After Tang repeatedly refused to sign a confession, his interrogators hit him and left him handcuffed in stress positions for a prolonged period of time. When he could not take such treatment anymore, he signed a confession to the alleged crime.
Big Tech has a lot of sins, but letting one of its factory workers rot in a communist Chinese prison is among the worst. Meanwhile Amazon chairman Jeff Bezos’s (pictured at top) biggest concern seems to be how to get his brand new, $485-million yacht out of Rotterdam without it being bombarded with eggs.
A bad look, to say the least.