Apple, Foxconn: We overly relied on temporary workers in China

Mon, 2019-09-09 07:07

SHANGHAI: Apple and manufacturing partner Foxconn Technology on
Monday rebutted allegations of lapses in people management levelled
by a non-profit monitor of worker rights, though confirmed they
employed too many temporary workers.
The response comes after China Labor Watch on Monday issued a
lengthy report accusing the two companies of breaching numerous
Chinese labor laws, including one barring temporary staff from
exceeding 10 percent of the total workforce.
US tech firm Apple relies heavily on Taiwan’s Foxconn and its
Chinese manufacturing facilities to produce devices such as the
iPhone, the next line of which will be unveiled on Tuesday.
In a statement, Apple said it investigated the percentage of
temporary workers among the overall workforce and found it
“exceeded our standards.” It said it was working with Foxconn
to “immediately resolve the issue.”
Apple did not state whether the excess amounted to a breach of
Chinese law. It declined to comment when asked directly by
China’s Ministry of Human Resources and Security did not respond
to a Reuters fax seeking comment. Reuters could not immediately
determine any penalty for temporary employees exceeding 10 percent
of the workforce.
Apple also said it discovered interns at a supplier facility had
worked overtime at night, violating company policy, and that
“this issue has been corrected.” It said the interns worked
overtime voluntarily and were properly compensated.
Foxconn separately confirmed over-reliance on temporary workers,
known internally dispatch workers.
“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.
It said it “immediately began a detailed process to ensure that
all issues were addressed.”
The labor report comes at a time of trade tension between the
United States and China that has threatened to upend supply chains
across the technology industry with tit-for-tat import tariffs.
Earlier this year, media reports said Apple was considering moving
some operations out of China to avoid new US tariffs, with
Japan’s Nikkei Asian Review in June putting the figure at 15
percent to 30 percent of production.
In an earnings call in July, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook
downplayed such speculation, stating the vast majority of Apple’s
products “are kind of made everywhere.”
“There’s a significant level of content from the United States
and a lot from Japan to Korea to China, and the European Union also
contributes a fair amount. And so, that’s the nature of a global
supply chain. Largely, I think that will carry the day in the
future as well.”

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Source: FS – All-News-Economy
Apple, Foxconn: We overly relied on temporary workers in China