A journalist in China has gone undercover at a Foxconn factory in Tai Yuan to observe working conditions on the iPhone 5 production line. During the 10-day stint at Foxconn, the journalist experienced 7 days of orientation followed by 3 days of production work. Despite Apple CEO Tim Cook's promise to improve conditions at factories producing Apple products, the expose exposes numerous continuing areas of improvement.
According to the report, workers have very few freedoms, live in cramped dormitories with bars on the windows and work excessive overtime. Management will often reprimand workers after-hours without proper compensation. Factories continued to employ workers under the age of 18 by exploiting an "internship" program, where students between the ages of 16 to 18 were brought to the factory to assist meeting iPhone 5 deadlines.
SumOfUs.org, an organization dedicated to holding corporations accountable for their actions, is highly critical of Tim Cook and the working conditions at the Foxconn factories. "Apple is hoping the buzz around the iPhone 5's release will drown out criticism," said Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, Executive Director of SumOfUs.org. "But as demand for iPhones has increased, so has the demand for faster and cheaper production, and factories churning out phones are also churning out forced unpaid overtime, wage cuts, and hazardous working environments."