Apple investigating its Apple Watch assembler for illegally using high school students

Apple investigating its Apple Watch assembler for illegally using high school students
The Apple Watch Series 4 is one of Apple’s hottest 2018 products and the company that’s contracted to assemble the devices can’t make them fast enough. A recent report, noticed by Financial Times, states that Quanta Computer, the company tasked to meet the enormous demand for the Apple Watch, used underaged workers in its factories illegally. The information triggered a response from Apple, forcing it to investigate the allegations.

The report comes from human rights group Sacom, which interviewed 28 students at a Quanta Computer factory in China. The students were sent by their teachers for internships, which is legal, but very limited in terms of what they can be doing at the factory and for how long. The students said that the tasks they performed were no different than those of regular workers and they had to work overtime and even during the night, which is not permitted by law. The “interns” stuck to the grueling work schedule because their teachers warned them that they won’t be able to graduate unless they complete the so-called internship.

According to one of the interviewed students, there were “about 120 students” from his school working on the same floor of Quanta’s factory. Describing their work at the factory, the students said: “We repeat the same procedure for hundreds of thousands of times every day, like a robot”. Presumably so they can attend classes, the students were scheduled to work between 8 PM and 8 AM, six days a week.

Apple’s response on the matter was the following: “We are urgently investigating the report that student interns added in September are working overtime and night shifts. We have zero tolerance for failure to comply with our standards and we ensure swift action and appropriate remediation if we discover [supplier code] violations.”

The practice is nothing new or unusual for China, due to the uneven demand for the products that the factories are making hiring temporary workers during peak capacity months is standard within the industry. However, manufacturers are often having trouble finding the necessary amount of workers, which forces them to resort to “interns”.

This is not the first time Quanta Computer has to answer for its illegal practices, previous investigations involved similar activities. Hopefully, Apple’s involvement will bring some changes to the companies that are depending on it for their success.

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9 Comments

1. power21

Posts: 80; Member since: Jul 15, 2015

yea yea yea. apple aint gonna do sh!t.

2. darkkjedii

Posts: 30719; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I worked at Mickey D’s in High school, I could damn sure do an assembly line lol.

3. apple-rulz

Posts: 1843; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

Look at the positive side, at least those high school students have jobs.

4. biggles

Posts: 269; Member since: Oct 15, 2009

I kinda assumed this was the strategy with the upcoming tariffs. Lower labor costs but still jack up prices to double-dip on profits.

5. cmdacos

Posts: 3784; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Apple has tight over sight of all aspects of their business. This wasn't unknown they just got caught working kids for 72 hours a week.

6. lyndon420

Posts: 6388; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Sounds like the teachers are behind this.

7. Vokilam

Posts: 1002; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

Seems like an awesome job for a high school student. Don’t see a problem. And I remember begging for overtime when I was a senior - dating girls was expensive. The teachers need to go to jail for forcing this though.

8. lyndon420

Posts: 6388; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Curious as to what other kinds of jobs are available to the students there.

9. cmdacos

Posts: 3784; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

You think a 72 hour work week predominantly over night is an awesome job for a high schooler? Huh???

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