Although Apple did promise to fix the issue with working conditions in its supply chain, recently aired videos by Envoyé Spécial, a 60 Minutes-like program from public TV station France 2 (via Engadget), it didn’t.
Reporters from French television filtered into the Zhengzhou iPhone 5 Foxconn factory, only to find that workers are facing horrible working conditions, the ones Apple promised to fix: Dorms at the new factory were fully occupied by workers, even though the facility was still under construction, and had no elevators, electricity or running water.
While the journalists reported no under-age workers, they did find low-paid student employees who were of legal working age, but they had been forced to go to work by corrupt school administrators, who had told them they would lose their diplomas if they didn’t take the job.
But there is more: Apple promised a wage rise, but the catch is that part of their upgraded $340 per month salary goes towards accommodation, insurance and catering. Just like in Samsung’s case — although China Labor Watch also highlighted under-age employment combined with high overtime requirements — many workers are putting in up to 150 hours overtime monthly and working 90 days without a break.
Obviously, Foxconn is silent, but Apple told Envoyé Spécial that it required its subcontractors to provide safe working conditions, and treat employees with dignity and respect.
You can watch the French-language videos aired on the French television portal yesterday below.