Apple says illegal student labor discovered at iPhone X plant in China

Apple’s new iPhone X began shipping this month. (Reuters)
Updated 22 November 2017
0

Apple says illegal student labor discovered at iPhone X plant in China

BEIJING: Smartphone maker Apple Inc. and its biggest manufacturing partner on Wednesday said that a small number of students were discovered working overtime in its Chinese factory, violating local labor laws.
The students worked voluntarily in the factory for more than 11 hours a day as part of a school internship program at a plant run by Hon Hai Precision Co. Ltd, also known as Foxconn, the manufacturer confirmed.
“We discovered instances of student interns working overtime at a supplier facility in China. We’ve confirmed the students worked voluntarily, were compensated and provided benefits, but they should not have been allowed to work overtime,” Apple said in a statement.
Apple and Foxconn have been accused of poor labor practices in the past, but the US technology giant has been trying to get a grip of such issues, releasing annual reviews of the iPhone supply chain.
The violations announced this week come as the company is stretching to meet demand for its new iPhone X, which began shipping this month.
An earlier report by the Financial Times cited six students who worked overtime at the plant as saying the program was required for them to graduate.
The FT report said the students, aged between 17 and 19, were being forced by their school to participate in the internship.
“Our policies do not allow interns to work more than 40 hours per week on program-related assignments. Unfortunately, there have been a number of cases where portions of our campuses have not adhered to this policy,” Foxconn said in a statement, adding that the interns accounted for a small part of the workforce.
Apple’s statement said that the company had sent staff to the site to address the violations.
Labour rights groups have previously criticized Apple and Foxconn for excessive overtime, hiring underage workers and failing to provide health insurance.
Since 2012 Apple says it has reduced the number of underage workers in its extended supply chain, which includes locations where rare earth minerals are mined for use in the smartphones.


UAE, Saudi Arabia optimistic world trading system can be restored, says survey

Updated 22 October 2018
0

UAE, Saudi Arabia optimistic world trading system can be restored, says survey

  • Three quarters of respondents hopeful of 'working order'
  • Trade disputes cloud horizon in emerging markets

LONDON: More than three-quarters of respondents in the UAE and Saudi Arabia said that the troubled global trading system can be restored to “working order,” according to a survey.
Only 27 percent thought the system would be restored ‘soon’, while 49 percent said it would be a more ‘long-term’ recovery, the Bloomberg research published on Oct. 22 found.
More than half of those surveyed in the two Gulf countries were optimistic that trade will grow in the next five years, with only 26 percent saying there would be less trade over that time period.
The survey findings come just days after the director-general of the World Trade Organization, Roberto Azevedo, urged action to be taken to avoid “serious harm” to the global trading system, in a speech in London on Oct. 17.
A continuing trade dispute between China and the US has led to the two countries imposing a series of tariffs on various imports.
The survey found that 65 percent of Saudi and UAE respondents said they were learning about new technologies to prepare for the future economy, while a similar proportion were learning new skills and taking professional courses.
Global governance issues were viewed as the most critical issue challenging the future of trade, according to the respondents.
The global survey also found there was a divide in opinion between business leaders in the emerging markets and those in developed countries.
Almost two-thirds (63 percent) of emerging market business professionals said they believe there would be more trade in five years, compared to just 36 percent in developed markets that felt the same way.

“The survey reveals vast differences in perceptions for the future and highlights the need to bring together global leaders in business and government to find private-sector led solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges,” said Justin B. Smith, chief executive officer, Bloomberg Media Group.