A new report published today by non-profit organization Green America and industry watchdog China Labor Watch accuses Apple of various violations of Chinese labor laws at one of its suppliers in the country (via NYTimes). The investigation focused on Apple supplier Catcher Technology in Suqian, China and claims to have found violations similar to those found during an audit of the same supplier last year: Read more
Apple’s eighth annual Supplier Responsibility Progress Report highlights the progress made on reducing child labor and enforcing working hour limits, and shows a significant increase in the environmental standards Apple’s suppliers are expected to meet.
The number of cases of underage workers fell from 106 last year to 11 this year. Compliance with Apple’s requirement of a maximum working week of 60 hours hit 95 percent, with 97 percent meeting the requirement of at least one day off a week. Apple reported that the average working week of a supply chain employee was less than 50 hours … Read more
Update: Apple has issued a statement stating that it sent medical experts to investigate and found no link to the boy’s employment. It has not commented on the fact that the worker was under-age, but it has been revealed that he used his 21-year-old cousin’s ID to get the job.
Last month we sent independent medical experts from the U.S. and China to conduct an investigation of the (Pegatron) factory. While they have found no evidence of any link to working conditions there, we realize that is of little comfort to the families who have lost their loved ones.
Apple has a long-standing commitment to providing a safe and healthy workplace for every worker in our supply chain, and we have a team working with Pegatron at their facility to ensure that conditions meet our high standards.
China Labor Watch says Pegatron has failed to properly explain the deaths of five young workers at a factory making the iPhone 5c, including one who was found to be just 15 years old, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
Pegatron, the Taiwanese manufacturer that employed him, said the workplace environment at the Shanghai plant was not the cause of his illness. But a spokeswoman acknowledged that several other young workers at the factory had also died in the past few months […]
“Considering the sudden deaths of five people and the similar reason of the deaths, we believe there should be some relations between the tragedy and the working conditions in the factory,” said Li Qiang, who runs China Labor Watch … Read more
Local government authorities are investigating last weekend’s explosion that injured 61 people at the Shanghai factory of an Apple iPad 2 back-panel supplier after much outcry from China Labor Watch.
CLW was founded in 2000, according to their website, and it is an independent not-for-profit organization that has collaborated with unions and labor organizations to assess factories in China.
The Dec. 17 blast at Ri Teng Computer Accessory Co., owned by Taipei-based Pegatron Corp., was similar to the explosion at a Foxconn Technology Group facility in May, according to a Dec. 19 statement from CLW.
“The blast in Riteng is a result of aluminum dust in the workshop where ipad cases are polished,” said CLW in its press release. “A similar blast happened in the same workshop of a Foxconn’s factory in Chengdu, killing 3 workers and hurting another 15.”
CLW said there was “a lot of aluminum dust in the workshop,” but apparently, the workers were not aware of the “potential danger before the blast.”
The U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration said aluminum dust is highly combustible, according to its online health guidelines. The administration stressed the need to take special precautions in handling the substance in occupational settings.
Despite Apple vowing to audit fifteen of their suppliers following accusations of pollution from Chinese NGOs, a report from China Labor Watch says 1,000 employees of a Jingmo Electronics Corporation factory in Shenzhen staged a strike earlier this week. The factory is owned by one of the world’s largest keyboard manufacturers, Jingyuan Computer Group, and happens to be an OEM for Apple, among others including LG and IBM. The Chinese Labor Watch organization is particularly urging Apple to take responsibility:
“China Labor Watch calls upon Apple, IBM and the other clients of this factory to assume responsibility for these workers’ dissatisfaction and work with the factory to improve the working conditions in the factory. We particularly urge Apple to take responsibility, as there are more than 300 workers working on the Apple keyboard assembly line.”
The workers decided to strike over management’s decision to enforce nightly overtime, adding a 6 p.m.- 12 p.m nightly shift to their regular hours of 7-11:30 a.m. and 1-5 p.m. That accounts for approximately 120 hours of overtime per month. They were also refused the right to work this overtime on the weekends, which would have required the company to pay workers double time under Chinese Labor Law. Chinese Labor Watch explains there were other concerns raised by employees as well: