The Chinese Labor Watch group released a lengthy report alleging several violations of Chinese law against Foxconn, the key iPhone assembler. Apple said it investigated and denies most of the allegations but did say that it found Foxconn’s iPhone factory workforce was made up of 50% temporary labor, way above the 10% rule according to the law.
Although Apple nor Foxconn will say explicitly, this is clearly a result of the usual supply chain rush to manufacture Apple’s new iPhone models, believed to be called iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, ready for the September sales season.
Apple said that it is working closely with Foxconn to resolve the issue, but Chinese Labor Watch claim that Apple is allowing Foxconn to continue using the workers despite it technically breaking Chinese law. Presumably, Apple and Foxconn are looking to correct the balance but an immediate change to the labor supply would be too disruptive to iPhone production.
The labor watch organization had claimed that Foxconn was requiring workers to do overtime shifts. Apple conducted its own investigation and said it could not find evidence to support these claims, saying that all overtime was voluntary.
Student intern workers are not allowed to do overtime. Nevertheless, Apple and Foxconn found a small number voluntarily working extra hours (to earn extra money) and say these cases have been corrected. During the iPhone X production season in 2017, there was a much larger outbreak of student overtime.
Apple will be officially announcing the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max tomorrow at its special media event. Updates to Apple Watch, and news regarding Apple Arcade and Apple TV+ is also expected. Stay tuned to 9to5Mac as we bring full coverage of all the announcements; the event kicks off at 10 AM Pacific Time.
Author: Benjamin Mayo