Investigation Finds Foxconn, Apple Factories ‘Routinely’ Flout Chinese Labour Laws

Apple and its manufacturing partner Foxconn on Monday acknowledged that they employed too many temporary workers in China while rebutting claims of lapses in people management.

That’s according to a new report from Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman, who explains that an investigation by China Labor Watch has found Foxconn’s Apple factory is “routinely” and “repeatedly” breaking Chinese labour laws which limit employment of temporary staff.

Under China’s labour laws, temporary workers can only comprise up to 10 percent of any given company’s workforce. But according to China Labor Watch, roughly 50 percent of workers at the Zhengzhou Foxconn factory where iPhones are being produced are temporary.

The investigation claimed that while Apple abided by Chinese law and internet regulations when it came to moving Chinese iCloud accounts to a local server, under the pressure of the Chinese government, the Cupertino company is not abiding by Chinese laws relating to workers, which are not as heavily enforced.

The organization said: “Although Apple and its supplier Foxconn are aware of these restrictions on dispatch workers and overtime work hours, they do not implement these regulations.”

“The Chinese government does not properly enforce laws, especially laws regarding labour rights,” the investigation explains. “Multinational corporations helped drive economic development in China but they have also exploited loopholes in Chinese labour laws.”

Apple said in a statement that it investigated the percentage of temporary workers among the overall workforce and found it “exceeded our standards,” adding that it was working with Foxconn to “immediately resolve the issue.”

Foxconn also confirmed an over-reliance on temporary workers, known internally as dispatch workers, in a separate statement.

“We did find evidence that the use of dispatch workers and the number of hours of overtime work carried out by employees, which we have confirmed was always voluntary, was not consistent with company guidelines,” Foxconn said.

China Labor Watch has been monitoring labour conditions in China since the year 2000 and has spent years compiling this latest report, according to the group. You can read the full report here.