Apple Watch Chinese Factory Violating Labor Laws?

“We believe everyone in our supply chain should be treated with dignity and respect,” Apple said in a statement, after being caught with their sweat shop pants down. “We have robust management systems in place beginning with training on workplace rights, on-site worker interviews, anonymous grievance channels and ongoing audits.” Not so robust now, eh Mr. Bond? According to chinalaborwatch.org Apple’s Foxconn supplier is exploiting their workforce . . .

To manage the influx of orders during peak season, Foxconn employs student workers and dispatch workers. Student workers have been forced to work overtime hours, completing internships at the factory that are unrelated to their degree.

Foxconn outsources hiring to dispatch companies and to attract workers, these companies offered bonuses for workers who are employed for a certain period of time. The bonuses fluctuate according to the demand for workers at the factory.

However, many workers have reported never been paid their bonus. The factory’s internal references program is another tactic used to hire more workers during peak season. Workers are given referral quotas to meet, and the factory takes away the overtime hours of those who do not fulfill the quota as a form of punishment.

And that’s just a warm-up; not what made the headlines. Apple and Foxconn Admit Hiring Too Many Temporary Workers in China to Assemble iPhones, Potentially Violating Labor Laws macrumors.com’s headline reports. Potentially? Back to chinalaborwatch.com:

Prior to 2016, Foxconn rarely recruited dispatch workers. However, the percentage of dispatch workers at the factory now makes up 50% or more of the workforce . . .

Workers [in Foxconn’s Zhengzhou “Apple City”] are paid wages that are close to or equivalent to the local minimum wage. [ED: $241 per month.] It is difficult for workers to sustain their livelihood on the minimum wage. Workers put in more than 10 hours a day.

Quanta Computer makes the Apple Watch in Chongqing, China. The minimum wage in that province: $2.31 per hour, $238.73 per month. Are these Apple Watch workers subject to the same exploitation as workers in Zhengzhou, which is not monitored by chinalaborwatch? Count on it.

Also count that similar conditions apply to the manuacture of all Chinese watches. Or worse. If you buy a Chinese-made watch you are subsidizing in these practices. Better than no work at all? Maybe. But remember who used to make millions of America’s watches? Americans. That it is all.

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