Apple staff in China work in 'deplorable' conditions
Staff making the iPad work 11-hour days, live in dirty quarters and face hazards in the workplace
Following stints with Reuters and the Press Association, Martin Hickman joined The Independent as a news editor in 2001. He became the Consumer Affairs Correspondent in September 2005 and has run the paper's trenchant campaigns on packaging, bank charges and factory-farmed chicken. He writes on subjects as diverse as food, finance, energy and fashion. With Tom Watson, he is author of a new book on the phone hacking scandal, Dial M for Murdoch - News Corporation and the Corruption of Britain.
Friday 29 June 2012
Factory workers making Apple's gadgets lead worse lives than those at the militaristic Foxconn facility which was hit by a spate of worker suicides two years ago, according to a report published yesterday.
An investigation by China Labor Watch found that workers assembling the iPad and other best-selling products experienced "deplorable" conditions including a basic 11-hour day, excessive overtime, low wages, overcrowded and dirty dormitories and hazardous working conditions. Other problems comprised inadequate trade unions, excessive use of agency labour, poor food and routine cheating of overtime pay.
Apple admitted it had a human rights problem at its biggest Chinese supplier, Foxconn, in February when it launched an investigation by the Fair Labour Association following the suicide or attempted suicide of 13 Foxconn staff . In a report in March, the FLA found "serious and pressing" concerns over excessive working hours, unpaid overtime and health and safety failings, prompting Foxconn and Apple to promise they would end the abuses within a year. But according to China Labor Watch (CLW) – which investigated 10 Apple suppliers in Shenzhen, Shanghai and Jiangsu Province for the first four months of this year – abuses exist across Apple's Chinese suppliers and are worse at non-Foxconn factories.
. CLW's researchers visited factories undercover, interviewed workers and obtained questionnaires from 620 staff. It said workers could take off one day a month, but, sometimes during peak demand, they worked every day for several months. All the factories except Foxconn City made heavy use of short-term "despatched labour", whose pay and conditions were worse than contracted staff.
Apple, the world's biggest company, did not dispute CLW's findings. In an email to Reuters, Kristin Huguet, spokeswoman for the company wrote: "As part of our ongoing supplier responsibility program, our team has conducted thorough audits at every facility in China Labor Watch's report. In some places, our auditors found issues similar to those described by China Labor Watch, including overtime violations."
- 1 Eurovision 2015: Graham Norton returns with another cutting commentary - his best lines
- 2 Purity balls: Girls in the US making virginity pledges as fathers vow to 'protect purity'
- 3 Eurovision 2015 winner: Sweden beats Russia and Italy to take title from Conchita Wurst
- 4 Mother 'will allow son's circumcision in return for release from prison'
- 5 Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
Greek hospitals cannot afford painkillers, scissors or sheets as budget cuts bite
Purity balls: Girls in the US making virginity pledges as fathers vow to 'protect purity'
Bulgarian seaside resort Sunny Beach is cheapest for beer
Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...