Friday, 20 September, 2019

Apple partner Foxconn used too many temporary workers during iPhone ramp-up

Apple and Foxconn broke Chinese labor law to build latest iPhones Apple and Foxconn broke Chinese labour laws on the upcoming iPhone
Cecil Davis | 11 September, 2019, 06:32

The response came after China Labor Watch on Monday issued a lengthy report accusing Apple and Foxconn of breaching numerous Chinese labor laws, including one barring temporary staff from exceeding 10 percent of the total workforce.

Both companies pledged this week to continue monitoring the situation, as Apple said "everyone in our supply chain should be treated with dignity and respect". The Cupertino firm confirmed the violation in the wake of a report by non-profit watchdog organization China Labor Watch on Foxconn factory working conditions.

Foxconn separately confirmed over-reliance on temporary workers, known internally dispatch workers.

"Chinese labor law mandates that workers must not work more than 36 overtime hours a month", China Labor Watch said.

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Apple said it learned that "the percentage of dispatch workers exceeded our standards", but said it was now coordinating with Foxconn to fix the problem. "Apple has the obligation and ability to make essential enhancements to the working conditions along its inventory network, be that as it may, Apple is presently moving expenses from the exchange war through their providers to laborers and benefitting from the abuse of Chinese specialists". However, suppliers and assemblers are always trying to churn out more handsets. According to the report, workers at Zhengzhou Foxocnn put in at least 100 overtime hours a month during peak production seasons. They added that high levels of temporary workers in August were perhaps to be expected, given that it's the summer holiday, and students (many of whom don't work during their studies) are squeezing in some work experience.

In addition, student employees supposedly worked illegal overtime. That is almost three times higher than the 36 overtime hours allowed by Chinese labor law. There were also complaints that some temporary workers did not receive promised bonuses. If requests are denied and staff still choose not to work overtime, they are admonished by managers and miss out on future overtime opportunities. The company said the allegations of unfair pay, including overtime and bonuses, are false, and said there is no evidence of forced labor.

Workers sometimes have to stay at the factory for unpaid meetings at night. Find out the event timing according to your region. In off-peak season, workers produce around 3,000 iPhones, and despite the production quota being much lower than in peak season, there are also fewer workers.

We looked into the claims by China Labor Watch and most of the allegations are false. One investigator worked in the plant for four years and found other lapses as well including harsh working conditions.