China Labor Watch Stories October 22, 2015

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Majority of iPhone/iPad workers at Pegatron’s Shanghai factory exceed 60-hour work limit, claims China Labor Watch

China Labor Watch says that an undercover investigation at a Pegatron factory manufacturing iPhones and iPads found that 58% of workers there were working in excess of 60 hours a week – the limit laid down by Apple for its suppliers. It also said that overtime, which is supposed to be voluntary, is effectively mandatory, reports CNET.

The report claimed that the standard shift was nine hours, but that – between September and December last year – staff worked an additional minimum of 20 hours of overtime each week, usually split up between an extra two hours each week day and one 10-hour shift on Saturdays. […] This overtime was essentially a requirement, according to the investigator, who claimed to be told by a trainer that working eight-hour shifts five days a week “does not conform to our hiring requirements.”

The report says that many workers in any case said that significant overtime was necessary to meet their living expenses, with wages at the local minimum wage of around $1.85 per hour.

The report also alleges that Pegatron falsifies documents shown to Apple to give the appearance of complying with supplier audit requirements while failing to do so in reality.

Despite providing only about eight hours of pre-job safety training—where Chinese law requires 24 hours—Pegatron forces each new worker to sign a form that “certifies” that she has undergone 20 hours of safety training. A worker also must sign a trainer’s name on the form. The factory has workers quickly copy answers to the safety information quiz. These falsified forms are the types of documentation that are provided to Apple in their audits.

The report notes some improvements since 2013, with partial improvements in sick leave and the ending of claimed discriminatory hiring practices. CNET says that neither Apple nor Pegatron responded to requests for comments on the report.

It’s not the first time that China Labor Watch has criticized working conditions in factories run by Apple’s suppliers. A report last year on another Apple supplier detailed claims of 22 violations ranging from hiring practices to safety concerns.

A BBC documentary based on an undercover investigation at another Pegatron factory prompted Tim Cook to say he was “deeply offended” by the claims and the show’s failure to include facts and perspectives provided by Apple.

Apple publishes an annual Supplier Responsibility Progress Report in which it details the issues it faces in its supply chain and the steps taken to address these.

Photo: AP Photo/Kin Cheung

China Labor Watch Stories September 4, 2014

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: expand full story

China Labor Watch Stories February 13, 2014

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 …  expand full story

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China Labor Watch Stories December 11, 2013

China Foxconn

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.

Original story:

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 …  expand full story

China Labor Watch Stories September 5, 2013

Alleged Apple Supplier Jabil Circuit accused of numerous labor law violations [update: Apple responds]

China Labor Watch, the organization behind the report accusing Apple supplier Pegatron of poor treatment of workers (that, in passing, seemingly confirmed that the iPhone 5C was plastic-bodied), has now made fresh allegations against Jabil Circuit, a company it says is also involved in production of the 5C.

Among the infringements uncovered by CLW include millions of dollars in unpaid overtime wages; over 100 hours of monthly mandatory overtime, three times in excess of legal limits; more than 11 hours of standing work every day with no rest outside of 30-minute meal breaks; illegally inadequate pre-work training; hiring discrimination; and more.

Apple previously responded to the Pegatron report with a lengthy statement on the steps already taken and the further steps it planned to take. Apple publishes an annual Supplier Responsibility Report and conducts frequent audits of its suppliers, along with commissioning the independent non-profit Fair Labor Association to conduct independent audits.

Jabil Circuit has not yet been confirmed as an Apple supplier. The iPhone 5C is expected to be unveiled on 10th September.

Via TNW

 

China Labor Watch Stories December 20, 2011

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.

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