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Apple, Foxconn infringe China Labor Law at iPhone plant in Zhengzhou

12 September 2019

Investigators from China Labour Watch went undercover at Foxconn's Zhengzhou factory, the largest iPhone factory in the world which is sometimes referred to as "iPhone City".

Foxconn separately confirmed overreliance on temporary workers, known internally as dispatch workers.

The report said that past year, 55% of the workforce were dispatch workers including student interns, compared with 50% this August.

"We did find during our investigation that the percentage of dispatch workers exceeded our standards and we are working closely with Foxconn to resolve this issue", according to the South China Morning Post.

In response, the Taiwanese supplier to Apple said the ups and downs in the number of dispatch workers depended on whether production was in peak or slow season.

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The report also lists a slew of other alleged workers' rights violations, including forced overtime.

"At no time did we find any evidence of forced labour and we can confirm that this facility now has no interns working overtime", they stated for AFP.

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".

China Labour Watch claimed the companies committed a slew of additional workers rights violations in the factory, all of which both Apple and Foxconn denied in their statements to Bloomberg, the Washington Post, and CNBC. Apple also said that less than 1 percent of workers were student workers, and that a small percentage of them voluntarily worked overtime or night shifts.

Foxconn also responded Monday, saying that the facility "currently has no interns performing time beyond regulation".

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In its annual supplier responsibility report, which details working conditions in its supply chain, Apple claims it has conducted 44,000 interviews with supplier employees in 2018 to check if they were properly trained and knew how to voice concerns, while taking new steps to prevent forced labor.

Temporary workers are reportedly not receiving promised bonuses while others are violating a law that limits overtime hours by working 100 a month instead of the maximum of 36.

Apple's provide chain has confronted criticism over reduced labor requirements for years, and the company has pushed manufacturing partners to enhance factory circumstances or risk shedding enterprise.

The 51-web site doc detailed results from a number of workforce who had been reported to have labored at Foxconn's manufacturing unit in Zhengzhou, a town in China's central Henan province. The next year, pictures of suicide-prevention nets in a Guangdong plant went viral. "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".

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Apple, Foxconn infringe China Labor Law at iPhone plant in Zhengzhou