Foxconn again faces labor issue on Apple iPhones

“As Apple prepares to unveil the latest iPhone this week, the company’s manufacturing partner in China, Foxconn Technology, is coming under renewed criticism over labor practices after reports that vocational students were being compelled to work at plants making iPhones and their components,” David Barboza and Charles Duhigg report for The New York Times.

“Foxconn has acknowledged using student “interns” on manufacturing lines, but says they are free to leave at any time,” Barboza and Duhigg report. “But two worker advocacy groups said Monday that they had spoken with students who said they had been forced by their teachers to assemble iPhones at a Foxconn factory in Zhengzhou, in north-central China.”

Barboza and Duhigg report, “Additionally, last week Chinese state-run news media reported that several vocational schools in the city of Huai’an, in eastern China, required hundreds of students to work on assembly lines at a Foxconn plant to help ease worker shortages. According to one of the articles, Huai’an students were ordered to manufacture cables for Apple’s new iPhone 5, which is expected to be introduced on Wednesday.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The New York Times is slipping. They forgot mention worker suicides even once.

Related article:
Report claims thousands of Chinese students forced to work on Apple’s new iPhone 5 – September 6, 2012


  1. There’s something really strange about this report. Whenever Foxconn posts job openings they get 100’s of applicants for each position to be filled.

    Why would they need to force students to work on Apple assembly lines, when they have more than an abundance of applicants?

    1. The hordes applying for Foxconn jobs were in Shenzhen, in the south. These reports are coming from hinterland cities in the north, where Foxconn has more recently opened factories to avoid the issues they are having in Shenzhen. No one is interested in moving to those cities for a job, hence the press gang tactics.

    1. I thought vocational schools were for learing a trade. Duh!. Maybe NY Tiems thought they were “vacational” schools. Most vocational schools of any note require on job training. Even future doctors have to work in hospitals. I , too did farm labor. I would have rather been on an air conditioned iPhone line than in in the heat of a 95 degree humid Carolina tobacco filed or in the 120 degree tobacco barn. These Times idiots nevner had a real job, I guess.

  2. what the labour groups and huskter press doesn’t tell you:

    1) internships are part of their education program
    (just like here a lot of students would rather be interned at a rock disco to learn ‘business’ than Foxconn )

    2) one more factual article I read was that the schools would rather put their students at Foxconn BECAUSE it’s vetted by outside parties like Fair Labour and Apple and Foxconn has insurance etc. Put them in another non apple factory they might ask the students to extract gold from circuit boards with mecury barehanded…

    been to one place in asia where the beach was off limits because a factory had dumped enough indrustrial waste (I believe it was kind of cynide) to kill tens of thousands there. The factory was actually quite far away and over the years they had this dude on a MOTORCYCLE ferry jugs of the stuff and bury it in the sand…

    (worked in asia for years)

  3. Foxconn needs to get the production quotas met or they could take a hit from Apple. It all depends on what the contracts state and its hardly shocking news.

    Apple can no longer turn a blind eye and claim they know nothing about this, they know, they are in business to make money and China has a massive yet cheap labor force. So why not get rich in a country where the rules simply don’t matter.

  4. LOL, yeah, did anyone read the stories last year about European college students forced to spend their Summer internships working in Hershey chocolate factories? The students protested the harsh labor! There were at least 2 articles in the NYTs of all places. Foxconn must own Hershey chocolate factories now.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.