vehement denials concerning the Daily Mail's "iPod City" exposé, Hon Hai Precision Industry's Foxconn factory has now come forward to admit that it has indeed been in violation of Chinese labor laws. Even though the company -- which was accused of underpaying and overworking employees -- had initially threatened to take legal action over the story, ChinaCSR is now reporting that a Foxconn spokesperson has publicly copped to the fact that its workers are forced to be on duty an extra 80 hours a month, which is 44 more hours of overtime than Chinese regulations allow (or 1.5 to 2 extra hours per day depending on the length of their work week). On the plus side, company representative Li Zong did point out that the workers are being paid according the minimum salary standards of the Shenzhen local government, so at least all those extra hours will help them maintain the highest standard of living for the scant amount of free time they get to spend in their overcrowded dormitories (supposedly pictured above). We realize that a lot of people are arguing that it's not fair to single out Apple when this is an industry-wide problem, but the fact of the matter is that Apple has been called out, and this new revelation only makes it that much more important for the company to conduct its promised investigation in a thorough and open manner.
Update: It should also be noted that the ChinaCSR article quotes Li as saying that "Apple has sent a special team to investigate, but has found no problem with Foxconn." While it's not clear when this investigation took place, we're hoping that Apple has more to say on the matter, because it sounds more than a little shady if Cupertino gave Foxconn the thumbs-up while these admitted violations were occuring.
[Via The Inquirer]