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Apple and Foxconn broke Chinese labor law to build latest iPhones

Apple and Foxconn broke Chinese labor law to build latest iPhones
[Photo: AFP/Getty Images]

Apple and Foxconn have admitted to breaking a Chinese labor law after an investigation by China Labor Watch reported the violation, reports Bloomberg. Both Apple and its manufacturing partner Foxconn admitted that in August Foxconn hired more temporary workers to assemble iPhones than were allowed by law.

The number of temporary “dispatch” workers Foxconn hired made up around half of the workers used to assemble iPhones. Chinese labor laws allow for a maximum of 10% of a total workforce to be made of temporary “dispatch” workers.

Though dispatch workers actually make higher average hourly wages than employees, they don’t receive critical benefits like unemployment insurance and pension contributions, paid sick leave, medical benefits, and paid vacation. Responding to Bloomberg, Apple confirmed a “percentage of dispatch workers exceeded our standards” and that it was “working closely with Foxconn to resolve this issue.”

Apple, however, disputed other allegations from China Labor Watch’s investigation, including that workers were working up to 100 hours of overtime each month and that some never received promised overtime bonuses. Thirty-six hours of overtime a month is the maximum allowed under Chinese law. Apple told Bloomberg these allegations were false: “Most of the allegations are false. We have confirmed all workers are being compensated appropriately, including any overtime wages and bonuses, all overtime work was voluntary and there was no evidence of forced labor.”

Foxconn is one of the largest manufactures in the world used by all kinds of American and overseas tech companies to assemble their products. For Apple, Foxconn assembles current products like the iPhone XR, and it is thought the company is already at work assembling the iPhone 11, which is scheduled to be announced by Apple tomorrow.

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