Foxconn cheats China iPhone workers

Apple, Foxconn say they overly relied on temporary workers in China

The company has scheduled an event at its Cupertino, California, headquarters tomorrow where it is expected to announce the latest version of the iPhone 11.

Apple Inc and manufacturing partner Foxconn Technology Co (富士康科技集團) yesterday rebutted allegations of lapses in people management leveled by a non-profit monitor of worker rights, but confirmed that they employed too many temporary workers. However, this practice is highly illegal. And while Apple and Foxconn's use of temporary workers is getting all the headlines, there's one interesting little fact buried in the report. Chinese law stipulates that only 10% of a factory's plant should be temporary.

According to CLW, Apple and Foxconn seek to produce about 12,000 iPhones per shift at the Zhengzhou plant.

"At no time did we find any evidence of forced labour and we can confirm that this facility now has no interns working overtime", it said in a statement given to AFP.

Apple mentioned that, after conducting an investigation, it discovered the "percentage of dispatch workers exceeded our requirements" and that it's "working carefully with Foxconn to resolve this problem". The NGO also alleged that many workers never received bonuses promised to them by recruiters. "There have been periods where workers have one rest day for every 13 days worked or even have only one rest day for a month". Chinese labor law limits monthly overtime to 36 hours. In January, Sixth Tone investigated a Shanghai factory owned by Apple's second-largest iPhone assembler, Pegatron, after dispatch workers began protesting over what they claimed were unpaid bonuses.

Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province, is a major source of factory labour in China and has been a Foxconn manufacturing hub for years.


"Apple has done very little to improve the rights of workers in their supplier factories", the executive summary continued. By recruiting these laborers, "the factory does not need to increase the wages for all regular workers", it said. It added that when it finds issues, it works with suppliers to "take immediate corrective action".

And Foxconn stated, "We will not hesitate to take any additional steps that might be required to meet the high standards we set for our operations". It said the interns worked overtime voluntarily and were properly compensated.

CLW claimed that Foxconn did not provide workers with adequate protective equipment and often failed to report workplace injuries.

"We looked into the claims by China Labour Watch and most of the allegations are false".

China's per capita disposable income was CNY 28,228 (roughly Rs. 2,80,000) in 2018, or CNY 2,352 (roughly Rs. 23,600) a month, China Daily reported earlier this year, citing government data.

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