China Labor Watch reports more labor violations by Foxconn and Apple

Excess use of student and dispatch laborers reported at world's largest iPhone factory in Zhengzhou

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File photo

File photo (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The labor rights group China Labor Watch (CLW) published a report on Sunday (Sept. 8) detailing labor violations at a Foxconn factory in Zhengzhou that manufactures products for the Apple corporation.

The facility is called “iPhone City” and is reportedly the largest iPhone factory in the world, supplying half of the iPhones sold worldwide. CLW conducted an investigation of labor conditions at the factory over a four year period and found that Foxconn and Apple are responsible for some significant abuses of the Chinese laborers.

According to the CLW report, the factory has used dispatch workers as well as student workers in excess of the legal limit to ensure orders are met during peak season. The company has also allegedly withheld promised bonuses and made use of overtime work opportunities in an illegal reward/ punishment scheme as a means to entice employees into recruiting new workers.

The report says that Foxconn has become increasingly reliant on dispatch labor to make up for a diminished labor force. The Zhengzhou factory workforce is made up of nearly 50 percent dispatch laborers. The report also accuses the Apple Corporation of transferring its increasing costs as a result of the U.S. –China trade war onto the factory laborers in China. From the report’s Executive Summary:

“Recent findings on working conditions at Zhengzhou Foxconn highlights several issues which are in violation of Apple’s own code of conduct. 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.”

Foxconn was recently criticized by CLW for labor rights violations at a factory in Hengyang, China which manufactures products for Amazon. A list of reported labor rights violations perpetrated by managers at the Zhengzhou factory and the Apple Corporation, along with the complete report, can be found at China Labor Watch’s website.

Update: Foxconn and Apple have reportedly acknowledged some of the violations outlined by CLW.