Apple admits that manufacturing partner Foxconn hired too many temporary workers to assemble iPhones, violating Chinese labor law, reports Bloomberg. The Cupertino firm confirmed the violation in the wake of a report by non-profit watchdog organization China Labor Watch on Foxconn factory working conditions.
Chinese law limits the use of temporary workers to a total of 10% of the workforce. However, Foxconn at times had up to 50%. While Apple hasn’t commented as to whether Foxconn broke labor laws, but the company says it has investigated and is working to resolve the situation.
China Labor Watch says it had received complaints about working conditions at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou factory.
“Apple and Foxconn know that the issue with dispatch workers is in violation of labor laws, but because it is profitable to hire dispatch workers, they haven’t addressed the issue,” said Li Qiang, executive director of China Labor Watch. “They have allowed these violations to continue over the years.”
Apple said that it had investigated the issue.
“To make sure our high standards are being adhered to, we have robust management systems in place beginning with training on workplace rights, on-site worker interviews, anonymous grievance channels and ongoing audits,” continued Apple.
Apple says it is working with Foxconn to resolve the issue of temporary staff, and says the issue of overtime working conditions has been corrected. Foxconn said it was addressing the issues.
“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 in a statement.
Neither company have yet to address China Labor Watch’s claims about alleged verbal abuse, sexual harassment, and exposure to toxic chemicals.