Sci-tech

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

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

Chinese labor law allows facilities like Foxconn's Zhengzhou plant to operate with no more than 10% of the staff being temporary workers in August 2019, according to non-profit watchdog China Labor Watch, which released the initial report to which Apple and Foxconn responded.

Details: For its report, CLW claims it sent undercover investigators to Foxconn's Zhengzhou plant in central China, including one who worked there for four years. The Chinese labor law grants only 10% of dispatch workers to total up the workforce.

In a statement, Apple said that it had investigated the percentage of temporary workers among the overall workforce and found it "exceeded our standards".

Apple's supply partner Foxconn said in a separate statement that it did identify "some" compliance issues. "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", the company added.

However, U.S. tech giant and iPhone creator Apple said it had looked into the claims made in the report and found "most of the allegations are false". "We are working intimately with Foxconn to determine this", the organization said. China Labor Watch explained that the cost of these temporary workers is lower than raising the wages of existing full-time workers, saving the company money overall. Student workers have been forced to work overtime hours, completing internships at the factory that are unrelated to their degree.

In response, Hon Hai said it always follows the labor laws and the requirements laid down by the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) and it has set up a mechanism to check from time to time whether its operations meet legal requirements.

Earlier this year, media reports said Apple was considering moving some operations out of China to avoid new U.S. tariffs, with Japan's Nikkei Asian Review in June putting the figure at 15 to 30 percent of production. This could mean that Apple is expecting sales to go up this year. The investigation also showed that some workers put in at least 100 overtime hours each month, while Chinese labor law limits monthly overtime to 36 hours. "Spanning 1.4 million square meters, it is there that workers toil daily to produce half of the iPhones sold worldwide", the report said.

Apple pushed back strongly versus the majority of the promises on Monday, expressing it had carried out its very own investigation and uncovered that "most of the allegations are fake". "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".

To attract temporary workers for repetitive, low-paying assembly line jobs, agents often promise bonuses worth several times the worker's monthly salary.



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