Apple And Foxconn Violated Chinese Labor Rule
Apple Inc. and manufacturing partner Foxconn violated a Chinese labor rule by using too many temporary staff in the world’s largest iPhone factory, the companies confirmed following a report that also alleged harsh working conditions.
For its latest report, CLW said undercover investigators worked in Foxconn’s Zhengzhou plant in China, including one who was employed there for four years. One of the main findings: Temporary staff, known as dispatch workers, made up about 50% the workforce in August. Chinese labor law stipulates a maximum of 10%, CLW noted.
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.” It added 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.
“Our recent findings on working conditions at Zhengzhou Foxconn highlights several issues which are in violation of Apple’s own code of conduct,” CLW wrote in its report. “Apple has the responsibility and capacity to make fundamental improvements to the working conditions along its supply chain, however, Apple is now transferring costs from the trade war through their suppliers to workers and profiting from the exploitation of Chinese workers.”
“We believe everyone in our supply chain should be treated with dignity and respect,” Apple also said in a statement. “To make sure our high standards are being adhered to, we have robust management systems in place beginning with training on workplace rights, on-site worker interviews, anonymous grievance channels and ongoing audits.”
Foxconn is the largest of a coterie of gadget assemblers that produce most of the world’s consumer electronics from sprawling Chinese bases. Typically operating on wafer-thin margins, they employ millions of mostly migrant and temporary workers because activity tends to wax and wane with shopping seasons and fluctuations in demand.
According to emails seen by Bloomberg, Apple told CLW in August that it was looking into the findings and had questions about the report. The company sent an investigator to the factory and met with Foxconn officials to discuss the heavy use of dispatch workers, but Apple and Foxconn are still allowing the activity despite violating the 10% standard, CLW said.
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