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 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 2 Greece debt crisis explained: A history of just how the country landed itself in such a mess
- 3 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 4 Greek debt crisis: Yanis Varoufakis's funniest (and most memorable) quotes
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
Greece debt crisis explained: A history of just how the country landed itself in such a mess
German conservatives are destroying Europe with austerity, says economist Thomas Piketty
Man dies instantly after shooting firework from top of his head
Isis schoolgirl Amira Abase who fled London to join terrorists in Syria mocks victims of Tunisia massacre
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
£16000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are looking for individual...
£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...
£40000 - £95000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Trainee Vehicle Inspectors / Pu...