Foxconn and Apple Admit Employing Too Many Temporary Workers

Apple, Foxconn caught breaking Chinese labor laws while making iPhones

Apple, Foxconn caught breaking Chinese labor laws while making iPhones

Apple and its manufacturing contractor Foxconn admitted to breaking Chinese labor regulations by the excessive use of temporary staff in the world's largest iPhone factory, according to Bloomberg.

According to the recent reports by CLW, the advocacy group revealed that undercover investigators were sent to work in China's Zhengzhou plant of Foxconn which also included one investigator who had been employed there for four years.

Foxconn separately confirmed over-reliance on temporary workers, known internally dispatch workers. That number fell slightly to 50 percent in August of this year, but is still well above what Chinese labor law stipulates as the maximum allowable, which is 10 percent.

Last month, Foxconn fired two executives after another CLW report found that temporary staff and underage interns making Amazon Echo speakers exceeded the legal limit in its Hengyang factory in central Hunan Province.

"Apple and Foxconn know that the issue with dispatch workers is in violation of labor laws, but because it is profitable to hire dispatch workers, they haven't addressed the issue".

"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 relies heavily on Foxconn and its Chinese manufacturing facilities to produce the iPhone.

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The company is working with Foxconn to "immediately resolve the issue", it was quoted as saying in a statement.

China Labor Watch said workers at the plant considered overtime as a benefit due to the increase in their hourly rate, helping boost their regular rate of $1.68, which hasn't increased since August 2015.

The CLW report also exposed the problem of pervasive overtime work at the Zhengzhou factories.

In a separate statement Foxconn said a review of operations in Zhengzhou had identified "some workforce compliance issues", which it was addressing. The US company ensured that there are no longer students working overtime. The company was criticized about the working conditions from the factory iPhones are made. "Hence, the value of utilizing dispatch employees is reduced than recruiting additional typical workers". The CLW report at the Zhengzhou facility also found that, during peak production periods, resignations are not approved; some dispatch workers have not received promised bonuses; student workers do overtime during peak production season, even though regulations on student internships prohibit this.

"However, during the peak production seasons, workers at Zhengzhou Foxconn put in at least 100 overtime hours a month".

We looked into the claims by China Labor Watch and most of the allegations are false. It has reportedly been working with its partner, Foxconn, to settle the issue.

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