An investigation by the Fair Work Association (based in Washington) has found that Apple supplier Foxconn has breached several labour laws in its factories in China, with workers putting in more than 60 hours a week.
The report found that Foxcoonn workers were clocking up illegal hours each week – well above China’s 49-hour limit, according to the Herald Sun.
It was also discovered that 80 percent of workers in one factory exceeded the 36-hour monthly overtime limit, with many also working seven days in a row without a break.
The Fair Work Association (FLA) investigation showed that overtime was only paid to workers in 30-minute increments, meaning extra time up to 29 minutes went unpaid by the company.
Many workers have said that their current salaries do not meet the cost of basic expenses and this why they were working extra hours during the week. The Herald Sun reports that an average monthly salary for Foxconn employees range from $347.70 to $439.50.
The breaches follow ongoing reports of poor working conditions at Foxconn, with numerous suicide attempts and deaths occurring as a result of low pay and harsh environmental factors.
In response to criticism of the current situation at Foxconn’s plants in China, Apple has defended its policies and opened up its Chinese supplier factories for an internal audit by the FLA.
“Our team has been working for years to educate workers, improve conditions and make Apple’s supply chain a model for the industry, which is why we asked the FLA to conduct these audits,” Apple said in an official statement.
Apple CEO Tim Cook is currently in China and visited a Foxconn factory on Thursday. Apple released photos showing Cook at an iPhone production line at a newly built Foxconn manufacturing plant, which employs 120,000 people.
Foxconn has told the FLA that it will increase its hourly payment, so that its employees won’t suffer from working normal hours.