Apple Breaks Chinese Labor Law in Rush to Build iPhones

File Workers in a Foxconn factory in China

File Workers in a Foxconn factory in China

A report from US -based labor rights advocacy group China Labor Watch (CLW) on Sunday accused Hon Hai, also known as Foxconn in the global market, of violating the Chinese labor law by hiring too many temporary workers in its Zhengzhou plant to make iPhones. The CLW found out that Apple's Chinese temporary workers comprise of 50 percent of its workforce which oversteps the limit of 10 percent. While the students left Apple's workforce in February, the company still had 30 percent dispatch workers in its workforce which is still not safe with the Chinese government's labor laws.

The tech giant stated the investigation conducted disclosed that the percentage of dispatch workers allowed to work had exceeded the company's standards. Apple also claims that when it finds issues, it works with suppliers to "take immediate corrective action". Foxconn Technology Group also confirmed the dispatch worker violation following an operational review. "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 labor", it added.

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

"We are working closely with Foxconn to resolve this", said Apple in its statement to CNBC.

Iphone apple store

The Chinese Labor Watch group signaled that Foxconn's factories are breaking Chinese law. According to the report, workers at Zhengzhou Foxocnn put in at least 100 overtime hours a month during peak production seasons.

Earlier this year, media reports said Apple was considering moving some operations out of China to avoid new US tariffs, with Japan's Nikkei Asian Review in June putting the figure at 15% to 30% of production.

Apparently, the supply chain by Apple has been criticized for poor labor standards for several years and has induced the manufacturing partners to either improve the working conditions or risk losing business.

The CLW report also says "verbal abuse is fairly common at the production site", claims the report, which also says that while workplace injuries are rare, managers will "often trick workers into hiding the truth" when accidents do happen. This may indicate that the Cupertino firm is pretty confident that the sales of 2019 iPhones will go up after a tepid 2018. 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. "Hence, the value of utilizing dispatch employees is reduced than recruiting additional typical workers". "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".

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