Published: Wed, September 11, 2019
Tech | By

Apple and Foxconn admit to Chinese labor law violations

Apple and Foxconn admit to Chinese labor law violations

Apple and Foxconn confirmed these allegations, following a report that also mentioned harsh working conditions at the iPhone plant, Bloomberg reports.

Foxconn was as of late scrutinized by CLW for work rights infringement at a plant in Hengyang, China which makes items for Amazon. Chinese labour law says that there can't be more than 10 percent temporary staff at any time.

China Labor Watch investigated the Foxconn facility at which the iPhone 11 is being produced. However, CLW found out that Apple is said to be providing suboptimal work conditions for its temporary workers. Foxconn, officially known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., hires tens of thousands of temporary workers to ramp up production and meet iPhone demand during the key holiday season each year. "There have been periods where workers had one rest day for every 13 days worked or even had only one rest day for a month". China's labor law stipulates that a worker's monthly overtime should not exceed 36 hours.

Foxconn said it had found that the number of temporary workers was "not consistent with company guidelines".

In addition, student employees supposedly worked illegal overtime.

Apple said that, after conducting an investigation, it found the "percentage of dispatch workers exceeded our standards" and that it is "working closely with Foxconn to resolve this issue". "We have confirmed all workers are being compensated appropriately, including any overtime wages and bonuses, all overtime work was voluntary and there was no evidence of forced labour".

Apple, on its part, says that all other allegations from the CLW are false. One of many predominant findings: Momentary workers, referred to as dispatch workers, made up about 50% of the workforce in August. The NGO also alleged that many workers never received bonuses promised to them by recruiters.

The factory, which has been dubbed "iPhone City", is operated by Foxconn and is the largest iPhone factory in the world. In the January interview, Li of CLW told Sixth Tone that Apple was intentionally using agencies and intermediaries to avoid culpability for labor rights violations.

The report from China Labor Watch also alleged that interns were working overtime, which is in violation of Apple's internal company standards. It is unclear whether the matter was resolved, as the Zhengzhou Airport Economy Zone's publicity office had not responded to Sixth Tone's questions sent by phone and email by time of publication.

The company said it was gradually adjusting the number and the ratio of dispatch workers to comply with the requirements of China's laws.

Since then, Apple has continued to work hard to improve conditions in its supply chain.

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