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Apple Watch supplier under fire over China's student work

Apple has sold tens of millions of smartwatches since it was launched three years agoApple is investigating a factory in…



Apple has sold tens of millions of smartwatches since it was launched three years ago

Apple is investigating a factory in southwestern China after a labor law team said the tech giant’s supplier forced student workers to work as “robots” to mount their popular Apple Watch.

The report raises fresh questions about supplier practices Apple uses to build its gadgets in the country after a number of workers’ deaths in 201

0, which is clearly linked to tough working conditions.

Many of the students had to work to get their vocational qualifications and had to do night shift, according to a survey of NGO students and fraud investigators (SACOM).

SACOM interviewed 28 students at the factory in Chongqing municipality during the summer, and everyone said they had not voluntarily sought work there, according to the report released last week.

They worked under “practice”, SACOM said, a practice group says it is widespread in China that manufacturers connect with vocational schools to provide workers and fill labor shortages when they end up in production for new models or Christmas jumps.

“Our diploma is left by the school if we refuse to come,” says a student in e-commerce, according to SACOM.

US Titan has sold tens of millions of Apple Watches-which can cost up to $ 1,499-since it was launched thr ee years ago and CEO Tim Cook said it was the most popular clock in the world.

Earlier accusations of job abuse focused on workers who built iPhones and other gadgets for Taiwan-based Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., more famous as Foxconn.

As the world’s largest design electronics, Foxconn manufactures large-scale plants in China, employing more than a million workers.

In 2010, at least 13 Foxconn employees in China showed visible suicide, which activists blamed for tough working conditions, which require better treatment of staff.

Although Foxconn denied the charges, it increased by almost 70 percent to its Chinese plants in 2010.

Urgent probe

Foxconn also accessed inbreaks 2013 with overtime and night shift problems like them as the level of the Apple Watch provider this year.

Manufacturing grants are permitted under Chinese labor law in N some cases, but SACOM found that the work has “literally nothing to do with learning” and violated some of the labor laws of the country that allow internal work in factories.

“We are like robots on the production lines,” said an 18-year-old student to SACOM. “We repeat the same procedure for hundreds and thousands of times every day, like a robot.”

Others said they sat at night shift from 8:00 to 8:00 with minimal breaks, according to SACOM.

The factory Chongqing is run by Quanta Computer, a Taiwanese electronics manufacturer, and also produces other brands. Quanta did not respond immediately to an AFP request for comments.

But the spokeswoman Wei Gu in Apple said: “We immediately investigate the report that trainees added in September work overtime and night shift.”

Wei noted Quanta Chongqing was a new Apple supplier and had been reviewed three times between March and June without finding student interns.

Student workers told SACOM’s student work were widespread at the factory.

Compilations that repiesed together Apple Watches who had failed a quality check were almost entirely comprised of student workers, an intern told SACOM.

“The factory could not work without student workers,” said a student to SACOM.

NGO required that Apple investigate and conduct work practices in line with the company’s own policies and the local and central Chinese government.


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