Date
24 November 2017
Foxconn is being accused of slave labor practices such as forcing employees to work overtime for days on end. The company has denied the allegations. Photo: Bloomberg
Foxconn is being accused of slave labor practices such as forcing employees to work overtime for days on end. The company has denied the allegations. Photo: Bloomberg

Foxconn hits back over slave labor claims by trade union

Foxconn Technology, the Taiwan manufacturer which makes most Apple products, is denying it has been forcing employees to work overtime.

The accusations were made by a senior official of the powerful All China Federation of Trade Unions, Ming Pao Daily reported Wednesday.

Guo Jun, director of the federation’s legal work department, told a press conference in Beijing on Monday that some private companies in the mainland force their employees to work more than 10 hours a day and rarely give them days off.

Some don’t offer paid leave and the illegal working hours have led to various psychological issues among employees, in some cases resulting in suicides or stress-related deaths, Guo said.

Guo singled out Foxconn.

He said tighter oversight is necessary and companies that exploit workers should be investigated.

Foxconn denied the allegations and accused Guo of jumping to conclusion without having been to its plants.

The company has been in the news after a series of suicides by workers in recent years.

Activists blamed the incidents on Foxconn’s high-pressure working conditions.

An employee in Foxconn’s Shenzhen plant said some workers are sometimes asked to put in 11 hours a day 13 days in a row.

These workers are forced to take the job to make extra money because they are paid very little by the company, the employee was quoted as saying.

“We are not perfect but we have been trying hard to be,” Foxconn said.

“It is our policy to allow workers one day off every six working days.”

Foxconn said a 100 million yuan (US$16 million) 24-hour center has been set up to provide a place for entertainment and relaxation for workers in the wake of the 2010 suicides.

Mainland labor activist Zeng Feiyang defended Guo’s remarks, saying these reflect the federation’s stance on labor issues. 

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TL/AC/RA

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