Apple Investigating Report of Forced Student Labor at Chinese Factory

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Apple today said it is "urgently investigating" a report that claims Apple Watch manufacturer Quanta Computer has subjected teenage students to illegal work conditions at its factory in the Chinese city of Chongqing.


"We are urgently investigating the report that student interns added in September are working overtime and night shifts," Apple said, in a statement issued to CNN. "We have zero tolerance for failure to comply with our standards and we ensure swift action and appropriate remediation if we discover code violations."

In a report last week, Hong Kong labor rights group Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior said Quanta was "using significant numbers of student workers aged 16-19 years" to assemble the Apple Watch, under working conditions that do not comply with Chinese regulations or Apple's own standards.

Based on an investigation during the summer of 2018, SACOM found that many students were forced to complete internships at Quanta, or face the risk of delayed graduation. The internships were often unrelated to each student's field of study, and lacked an educational component, according to the findings.

"Our school told us that we will be deferred if we don't do the internship," said a student majoring in early education. "If we resign then we will also receive our graduation certificate half a year later than others."

The report also found that students were often illegally required to work at least a few hours of overtime per day and overnight shifts.

In its statement, Apple said it audited Quanta's factory in Chongqing three times between March and June, and found "no student interns working on Apple products at that time," but noted students may have been hired in September. Apple has promised to take appropriate action if it discovers any violations.

On its Supplier Responsibility website, Apple says it holds itself and its suppliers to the "highest standard" when it comes to human rights, environmental protections, and responsible business practices in the supply chain.

In its 2018 Supplier Responsibility Progress Report, Apple said it has enforced a limit of "no more than 10% student workforce at a supplier facility." The report adds that suppliers can offer overtime "only on a voluntary basis" and factories must give employees "one full day of rest for every six days worked."

Last year, Apple and its largest manufacturer Foxconn confirmed instances of students working overtime to assemble the iPhone X, and both companies vowed to take remedial action. Apple said the overtime work was completed voluntarily, with proper compensation and benefits, but in violation of Foxconn's policy.

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Article Link: Apple Investigating Report of Forced Student Labor at Chinese Factory
 

sundog925

macrumors 6502a
Dec 19, 2011
918
836
students overworked to the brink of death in China to achieve educational greatness?

and this is news?! lol! do they still use the asian F scale ?
 

ocnitsa

macrumors 6502
Jan 24, 2011
394
633
I taught higher ed in a program that served Chinese high schoolers...They were in school at least 12 hours a day (8am-8pm)...I can't imagine what would be like to do that AND have to work an overnight shift. Sheer insanity.
 

alien3dx

macrumors 6502a
Feb 12, 2017
809
171
I'd expect a quick resolution on this if Apple finds anyone violating their policies. There really isn't any way Apple can prevent it as they are trusting their partners. Maybe stricter fines or loss of business, but that is likely it.
hehe. i sure just talk happen.If apple to strict just paid the termination fee and moved to US soil. But in meantime more £££ iphone price.
 
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barkomatic

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Aug 8, 2008
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There is a labor shortage in China so bad they are forcing students to work in factories, yet there is very limited production in the U.S. I understand the economics of why certain things are made overseas, but this is ridiculous. Apple charges so much for its products that they could pay people $20 an hour here and still make a fortune.
 

citysnaps

macrumors 603
Oct 10, 2011
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There is a labor shortage in China so bad they are forcing students to work in factories, yet there is very limited production in the U.S. I understand the economics of why certain things are made overseas, but this is ridiculous. Apple charges so much for its products that they could pay people $20 an hour here and still make a fortune.
The infrastructure and workforce required to manufacture, test, and ship 600,00 to 800,000+ iPhones per day, that can turn on a dime when needed, every day of the year on average, does not exist in the US.
 

H2SO4

macrumors 601
Nov 4, 2008
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I am still not sure what you are saying here. Sorry.
Not sure why you can't see it. If I want to have something I don't like stopped can either;
  • Enforce, (or pretend to enforce), the rules.
  • Let someone else do it.
  • Do it myself.
Apple are choosing the first option.
 

DNichter

macrumors G3
Apr 27, 2015
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Not sure why you can't see it. If I want to have something I don't like stopped can either;
  • Enforce, (or pretend to enforce), the rules.
  • Let someone else do it.
  • Do it myself.
Apple are choosing the first option.
Because they were a bunch of fragmented sentences that weren't making any sense. Yes, Apple contracts out their manufacturing and enforces strict rules when it comes to child labor. If one of their partners is in violation of the rules, they address.
 

barkomatic

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2008
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The infrastructure and workforce required to manufacture, test, and ship 600,00 to 800,000+ iPhones per day, that can turn on a dime when needed, every day of the year on average, does not exist in the US.
True, but Apple can start to supplement Chinese production and slowly expand its capabilities. Apple will always need overseas plants but domestic plants could certainly help with supply constraints.
 
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RedGala

macrumors regular
Jun 17, 2015
197
808
This needs to immediately be resolved; when I buy a product from Apple, I want to know that it was made with decency.
 
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qawes

macrumors 6502
Jun 27, 2010
263
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This is everyone’s fault on a global scale. This is what happens when you want the latest gadgets, the second they are announced.

High demand for any product, requires a high demand for labor and longer working hours.

Pat your selfs on the back.
Exactly, very well underlined.

I am not sure what you are saying here.
"It's just talking (in the article). PR news. If apple would really want to cut down on forced overtime exploiting labor it would move the iPhone's production in the U.S. but the prices will greatly increase."
 
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s2mikey

macrumors 68020
Sep 23, 2013
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Upstate, NY
I don’t think Apple cares. It’s cheaper in China for a reason. Reasons like this.
They dont care but they have to make it *appear* they care. Its all about pleasing shareholders. If Apple really cared they'd build all this stuff here with American labor and pay them decent wages/benefits. But, clearly thats not an option. The eleventy-million-trillion in profit they pocket like every week just isnt quite enough.

And Im pro-capitalism too but this kind of stuff is NOT OK with me.
 
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