Foxconn accused of using illegal student labor to build Apple's iPhone X

Posted:
in iPhone
Apple's main assembly partner, Foxconn, has been demanding illegal overtime from high school interns in its production of the iPhone X, a report charged on Tuesday.




Six of the students -- aged 17 to 19 -- said they regularly work 11-hour days on the iPhone X at a factory in Zhengzhou, in violation of Chinese law for interns, according to the Financial Times. The students added that they're with a group of 3,000 students from Zhengzhou Urban Rail Transit School, who were sent to the Foxconn factory in September and told that a three-month internship was required to graduate.

"We are being forced by our school to work here. The work has nothing to do with our studies," said one student, who explained she assembles up to 1,200 iPhone X cameras per day and is actually planning to become a train attendant.

Both Apple and Foxconn admitted to learning of students working illegal overtime, but promised they were taking action to fix the situation.

Apple said it "confirmed the students worked voluntarily, were compensated and provided benefits," even if "they should not have been allowed to work overtime." Foxconn echoed this position, saying "all work was voluntary and compensated appropriately, [but] the interns did work overtime in violation of our policy."

A long-term Foxconn worker told the Times that the company's need for seasonal workers was greater this year. Another source remarked that the education ministry of Henan province sent notices to all vocational schools, asking them to send their "work experience students" to Foxconn -- reflecting the Henan's government's desire to keep Foxconn happy.

"Henan province does everything in its power to make sure Foxconn thrives here. It's not just about tax revenues -- it's about industrial upgrading, building an export industry, having a foreign partnership [with Apple]," a local official commented.

Apple regularly audits its supply chain, but has often discovered excessive overtime and/or underage workers. Between August and December, Foxconn in particular is often under intense pressure to meet iPhone production quotas, and will recruit hundreds of thousands of extra laborers -- including students. Being unusually difficult to assemble, the iPhone X has caused extra trouble, and may be to blame for a 39 percent year-over-year decrease in net profits during the September quarter.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,563member
    Oh my, interns working ungodly hours for no money, I never heard of such thing.

    This is joke, in the US, interns work for free all the time and work long hours for no pay this is not new. Internships are the worse idea ever. All kinds of industries in the US hire students do not pay them, work them long hours and tell them it's about the experience not the money.

    So a bunch of idiots are complaining the Chinese are doing exactly what the US has been doing for years and now that is a problem. Why aren't these people standing up for the poor college students in the US who work for no pay just the experience.
    edited November 2017 hmurchisonedredjax44bb-15jony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 13
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,958member
    Did they get paid for those extra hours ? If yes, than everyone including Apple shut up! In western world, not all but majority kids are spoiled brat who don't want to work hard.These kids at east have sense of family values to work extra hours to support their struggling family.
    muthuk_vanalingamjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 13
    BluntBlunt Posts: 223member
    maestro64 said:
    Why aren't these people standing up for the poor college students in the US who work for no pay just the experience.
    Because it's not the same thing.
  • Reply 4 of 13
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,268member
    Love these sanctimonious articles coming from a mythical "US Moral High Ground".   I suppose i'm to 
    be upset that a country abused their workers.  Never heard that before. 


  • Reply 5 of 13
    maestro64 said:
    Oh my, interns working ungodly hours for no money, I never heard of such thing.

    This is joke in the US, interns work for free all the time and work long hours for no pay this is not new. Internships are the worse idea ever. All kinds of industries in the US hire students do not pay them work then long hours and tell them it's about the experience not the money.

    So a bunch of idiots are complaining the Chinese are doing exactly what the US has been doing for years and now that is a problem. Why aren't these people standing up for the poor college students in the US who work for no pay just the experience.

    Because nobody will care. 

    Neither the media care about interns in China. They only care about clicks, and in this case they will get plenty from both Android & Apple crowd. This’s why the modern media is so lousy and nobody care about it as much as in the past. Many blame internet but it’s they themself who nailed their own coffins.
    edited November 2017 muthuk_vanalingambb-15macxpress
  • Reply 6 of 13
    When I was 17, I would have loved to work in a large manufacturing plant, no matter how hard. I instead worked a Siemens Germany and thought it was too boring and mundane.
  • Reply 7 of 13
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,563member
    Blunt said:
    maestro64 said:
    Why aren't these people standing up for the poor college students in the US who work for no pay just the experience.
    Because it's not the same thing.

    Yes it is the same thing. It is not like it is poorly educated kids who did not know better or were pulled off the farms in the country. These are college students they should know better. Internships are specifically set up for companies and the government to get fee labor under the guise of a learning experience. I know this subject very well, I went to one of the few Universities who had mandatory co-op programs for their students which companies were required to pay students verse getting free labor. Guess what we got the learning experience and got paid and paid well. No one got a free ride. What I find interesting is the media and government in the US employee more free interns than any industry in the US.  This is just another example of the media industry needing to in look inside before they look outside for problems that need to be fixed.
  • Reply 8 of 13
    Unlike many of the kids and parents in the US who just lay around and feed off the tax payer at least these kids are working. Good for them.
    king editor the gratewatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 13
    maestro64 said:
    Blunt said:
    maestro64 said:
    Why aren't these people standing up for the poor college students in the US who work for no pay just the experience.
    Because it's not the same thing.

    Yes it is the same thing. It is not like it is poorly educated kids who did not know better or were pulled off the farms in the country. These are college students they should know better. Internships are specifically set up for companies and the government to get fee labor under the guise of a learning experience. I know this subject very well, I went to one of the few Universities who had mandatory co-op programs for their students which companies were required to pay students verse getting free labor. Guess what we got the learning experience and got paid and paid well. No one got a free ride. What I find interesting is the media and government in the US employee more free interns than any industry in the US.  This is just another example of the media industry needing to in look inside before they look outside for problems that need to be fixed.
    But the article says the students were told they wouldn't graduate unless they took the job, which I presume they probably didn't want but accepted any way, that just wrong, volunteering is another thing, but it might be that there was no choice involved and to top it all off no overtime payed, also it doesn't seem like Foxconn is a company thats above this sought of thing. But hey the X is great though, totally woth it   :/ . I don't know about other places but over here there's no such thing as internships for laborious Factory work, thats exploitation which is illegal, but if one is paid and paid well though, who knows. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 10 of 13
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,121member
    Being forced to work an unrelated job to graduate regardless of how you pay them sounds like slavery to me.  

    Shame on anyone who supports this.  
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 11 of 13
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,725member
    eriamjh said:
    Being forced to work an unrelated job to graduate regardless of how you pay them sounds like slavery to me.  

    Shame on anyone who supports this.  
    Yep this is why American corporations either set up factories or outsource to factories in China.   No pesky labor or environmental laws to follow.   America should pull out of WTO.
  • Reply 12 of 13
    bb-15bb-15 Posts: 257member
    eriamjh said:
    Being forced to work an unrelated job to graduate regardless of how you pay them sounds like slavery to me.  

    Shame on anyone who supports this.  
    Whatever problem a person would have for this work practice, it is not slavery. To claim it is slavery (aka human trafficking) is at best disingenuous. At worst it's trolling and the spreading of malicious FUD. 

    * In reality, two things are involved; 
    - An employer threatening an employee to get them to do work.
    Maybe some people are not aware but threats (firing, blacklisted in an industry) to get employees to do tasks is a common occurrence in the US. I've experienced some of this myself. 
    - Secondly, how student labor is handled. As mentioned above, student workers can have jobs for no pay to get experience.
    But even more severe, US agriculture can involve very intense work where young children are along side their parents. 

    * Why isn't the use of US agriculture child labor widely reported? Because as noted above, most people don't care.

    * Also, why aren't harsh working conditions for an Android manufacturer like Samsung widely reported? For instance;

    In my many debates with Android users who bash Apple, none of them really cared about worker conditions. 
    They certainly weren't going to stop buying their dirt cheap Android phones because of worker abuse. These Android fans didn't want to know about the poor worker conditions of other tech companies. They only wanted to know about reports which made Apple look bad.
    Result; the media articles about poor tech labor conditions that are widely reported AFAIK are about Apple. 
    edited November 2017 badmonk
  • Reply 13 of 13
    Considering how much I am enjoying my iPhone X, I would like to personally thank these students for their hard work!
Sign In or Register to comment.