Apple Taking Action After Students Worked Overtime to Assemble iPhone X at Foxconn

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Apple and its manufacturing partner Foxconn have confirmed instances of students working overtime to assemble the iPhone X, and both companies are now taking remedial action, as reported by the Financial Times.

A technician inspecting iPhone components at a factory

Apple conducted an audit and confirmed "instances of student interns working overtime at a supplier facility in China," according to the report. "We've confirmed the students worked voluntarily, were compensated and provided benefits, but they should not have been allowed to work overtime," it added.

Foxconn said that "all work was voluntary and compensated appropriately," but admitted that the interns "did work overtime in violation of our policy," which reportedly prohibits interns working more than 40 hours per week.

The statements from Apple and Foxconn come after six high school students told the Financial Times they routinely work 11-hour days assembling the iPhone X at Foxconn's factory in Zhengzhou, China.
"We are being forced by our school to work here," said Ms Yang, an 18-year-old student training to be a train attendant who declined to use her first name for fear of punishment. "The work has nothing to do with our studies." She said she assembled up to 1,200 iPhone X cameras a day.
The students, aged 17 to 19, reportedly said they were told that a three-month stint at the factory was required "work experience" that they had to complete in order to graduate from Zhengzhou Urban Rail Transit School.

Foxconn is believed to hire a significant number of seasonal workers each year to assemble the latest iPhone models in time for the busy holiday shopping season. The report, citing an anonymous Foxconn employee, said there can be up to 300,000 workers producing up to 20,000 iPhones per day.

As part of its supplier responsibility efforts, Apple requires its manufacturing partners like Foxconn to limit working hours to no more than 60 hours a week, with a mandatory rest day once every seven days.

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Article Link: Apple Taking Action After Students Worked Overtime to Assemble iPhone X at Foxconn
 

davie18

macrumors 6502
Dec 29, 2010
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The report, citing an anonymous Foxconn employee, said there can be up to 300,000 workers producing up to 20,000 iPhones per day.
Doesn't that seem a low ratio of workers to phones made? Apple sell over 200 million iphones a year, which works out to 550,000 every day of the year.

550,000/20,000 = 27.5. So 27.5*300,000 = 8,250,000 workers to keep up total demand at that rate.

Surely there aren't over 8 million people making iphone?
 

toph2toast

macrumors 6502a
Feb 24, 2011
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I'll be curious to see if there are additional developments with this story, since the students said they were forced (by their school) to work their, but Foxconn said all work was voluntary.

I'm also wondering what specific remedial actions were taken.
 

HJ24

macrumors regular
Oct 14, 2011
153
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Canada
Why is a nearly Trillion dollar company allowing its supplier to have what basically sounds like child exploitation to and slave labor to occur. As much as Apple is better than many other companies in this regard, this shows they obviously have ways to go.
 

davie18

macrumors 6502
Dec 29, 2010
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Record profits. Apple is taking action yes, but they are also the company that will find another manufacturer if quotas are not met.
I don't think they have a choice do they? Do you think there is another manufacturer that can reliably make 200+ million iphones per year??
 

Hustler1337

macrumors 68000
Dec 23, 2010
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London, UK
Good on Apple for taking action, and I hope this also gets the attention of Wisconsin. As for the situation in China, that school should be investigated and that teacher jailed but it probably won’t happen.
This is a problem with China, not Apple.
That's only half the story, Apple isn't innocent in all this. They're the ones putting pressure on the likes of Foxconn to manufacture x amount of iPhones. This gets fed down the system and it's ultimately the workers who pay with poor pay packets, unreasonable working hours and poor working conditions.
 

GrumpyMom

macrumors G3
Sep 11, 2014
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This is a problem with China, not Apple.
This is a problem for Apple, which chooses to have its manufacturing done in China and does not want its reputation and values sullied by child labor.

It’s a bit unsettling knowing our iPhones could have been assembled by high school students. These kids must have some mad skills and a hell of a work ethic. It’s a bit intimidating that our own kids will be competing with these young people in an increasingly global economy.
 

GrumpyMom

macrumors G3
Sep 11, 2014
8,308
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So what do these chinese kids 'learn' exactly, by being forced to work in a factory to complete their totally unrelated studies?
I’m trying to figure out when they get to do their schoolwork if they are putting in 11 hour days. Damn!

Some kids in America actually do put in crazy work hours. I know I did to earn money for college. But nobody forced me to do that. Economic necessity did. These kids were forced. *—Edit: Apple says they confirmed this was voluntary but the quote from one student indicates she was forced.
 
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HiVolt

macrumors 6502a
Sep 29, 2008
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Good on Apple for taking action, and I hope this also gets the attention of Wisconsin. As for the situation in China, that school should be investigated and that teacher jailed but it probably won’t happen.
This is Apple taking action ->> "Mr. Foxconn, please don't do it again, or better yet, don't get caught, wink wink!"

The demand for the iPhone X was huge, who in their right mind thought that there wouldn't be of these stories?