Apple has received a lot of heat because that manufactures its popular iPhone, Foxconn, has been in the news due to a string of worker suicides. Things don’t appear to be getting any better, as a new study said about 50% of Foxconn workers have been abused physically at some point at work.
The report, leaked by the Chinese government, said up to 50% of some workers in plants were experiencing some form of abuse. This would include actual physical violence from a manager or supervisor, as well as forced overtime.
Interns were especially at risk:
According to the law, the work period of an intern should not exceed eight hours, and they are not allowed to service for overtime work. However, at some of these plants, the interns have a workload of over 10 hours with some even being forced to work night shifts.
Furthermore, no contracts are signed with these students, meaning that the company is exempt of paying social welfare; and due to the lack of supervision, upon being injured at work, interns cover their own medical expenses, without help from either the government or the firm itself.
It’s unclear how accurate these claims are, as some are speculating that the government is trying to use its newspaper to put negotiating pressures on Foxconn. Still, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard something bad going on at the Apple iPhone manufacturer and it’s clear that something is rotten in Shenzhen.
We’ve seen in-depth looks at how Foxconn operates and we know the company can pump out more than 130,000 Apple iPhone units a day. It has also recently increased wages in an effort to boost its public perception.
It’s a tough issue with multiple sides to blame. Foxconn should treat its employees better, Apple should ensure its products are coming from companies which don’t abuse its customers and we consumers also have to understand and accept that we are only able to get these high-end electronics at a cheap price because it is often made by people who don’t make a wage we’d consider fair. No one really wants to pay more though, so we’re stuck with this mess for the moment.