Undercover Report: Few Changes At Foxconn Despite Apple’s Promises

Working conditions in Foxconn factories haven’t improved much despite promises from Apple, claim French news program Envoyé Spécial by way of Engadget.

Earlier this year, following an independent audit of the Foxconn factory Apple said it will work with the company to improve working conditions and raise salaries. Undercover reporters for Envoyé Spécial, however, say that conditions in the factory are still terrible for workers.

The news program found many worked living in unfinished buildings without electricity, running water or elevators. The construction workers left the buildings unfinished to focus on production lines according to the report.

Read: Apple Isn’t The Only Company At Foxconn To Criticize

Envoyé Spécial Foxconn dorms

In the dorms that did have electricity a Foxconn manager warned employees not to plug anything in for fear of an electrical fire. Eight employees recently died from a fire caused by overloaded circuits.

The French report also found several low-paid students in the factory who had to work there on orders from corrupt school officials. The school administrations told the students they had to work at the factory if they didn’t want to lose their diplomas.

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Non-student employees also complained that much of their newly upgraded $340 a month salaries go back to Foxconn for housing, insurance and food. The reports also found Foxconn charged employees for numerous other things including $7 psychological tests given to find suicidal employees. In all, the workers say they only get about $300 a year for their efforts.

That $300 a year pay level is what workers get after putting in more than 150 hours of overtime a month and working 90 days without a break according to some labor groups.

Most of these issues stem from Foxconn’s efforts to build the iPhone 5. On employee told reports that Apple’s latest smartphone is so hard to build that many leave after a short while. Foxconn has a steady stream of new workers in the region to keep up with the employee turnover.

Earlier this year Apple said it and Foxconn will work to improve working condition, but this report says they haven’t done much in the months after the report. In response to the story an Apple spokesperson told Engadget:

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Apple is committed to the highest standards of social responsibility across our worldwide supply chain. We insist that all of our suppliers provide safe working conditions, treat workers with dignity and respect, and use environmentally responsible manufacturing processes wherever our products are made.

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