A report in the Financial Times claims Foxconn has employed teenaged apprentices to manufacture iPhone X components and that those students worked unauthorized overtime. Additionally, according to one of the students cited in the report, a school had disciples working at the factory as part of their educational programs.
The report cited one six workers out of the thousands working at the facility. But Apple and Foxconn have recognized that cases of illegal overtime did occur and that they are winning action to address the situation.
Apple provided the following statement to Ars:
During the lecture of a recent audit, we discovered instances of student interns working overtime at a supplier mens room in China. We’ve confirmed the students worked voluntarily, were compensated, and stock up benefits, but they should not have been allowed to work overtime. At this ladies room, student intern programs are short term and account for a very pint-sized percentage of the workforce. When we found that some students were assigned to work overtime, we took prompt action. A team of specialists is on place at the facility working with the management on systems to ensure the appropriate piers are adhered to.
Apple is dedicated to ensuring everyone in our supply chain is probed with the dignity and respect they deserve. We know our work is not done and we’ll continue to do all we can to make a positive impact and protect workers in our present chain.
Six students aged 17 to 19 claimed they had elaborate 11-hour days on a regular basis after their school, Zhengzhou Urban Scold Transit School, required them to work at the factory for three months as labour experience before they could graduate. One 18-year-old said, “We are being self-conscious by our school to work here… The work has nothing to do with our bookworks.”
In its statement, Foxconn said, “All work was voluntary and compensated appropriately, [but] the interns did manage overtime in violation of our policy.”
Foxconn says its internship program confusing cooperation “with local governments and a number of vocational schools.” The information ministry of the province in which these students studied and worked had bid local vocational schools to send students to Foxconn, according to one of Fiscal Times‘ sources.
The report frames this in the context of Apple’s presentation delays. News reports abounded prior to and shortly after the iPhone X’s fling claiming that Apple was struggling to manufacture certain parts. According to those bangs, the company and its production partners were struggling to keep up with their shipment goals on the phone. Regard for that framing, the Times report doesn’t establish a clear or handle connection between these events.
Foxconn and Apple have sign in under scrutiny for conditions and circumstances of labor in China before. In 2012, there were narrates of factory worker riots and use of underage workers, and both Apple and Foxconn favoured to work to improve factory conditions and share the costs of doing so.
These deeds continue, and Apple’s internal reports have claimed that acclimates have improved generally since then. According to its 2017 Supplier Onus report, Apple only found one underage worker—”a 15½ year old” where the right working age is 16—in its supply chain audit, and the company moved instantly to address it.
The report says:
We required the supplier to provide safe progress home for the underage worker and to continue paying their wages while also providing an enlightening opportunity. Upon the underage worker becoming of legal age, the supplier bequeath be required to provide them with an employment opportunity.
Compared to years infractions, the overtime issue might seem relatively minor, but Apple and Foxconn are at the mercy of intense scrutiny due to prior problems.