workers Stories April 9, 2013

Cory Moll, an Apple retail employee who founded an unofficial union for Apple Store staff, is leaving the company tomorrow, having apparently resigned.

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Moll founded the ‘Apple Workers Union’ as a Facebook page and now-defunct website, describing it as “a movement of empowerment to bring change and improvement of working conditions to Apple’s retail stores” in response to what some employees felt to be low pay and limited opportunity for advancement.

Moll tweeted earlier today  that tomorrow would be his final day. In an email to 9to5Mac and others, he said: expand full story

workers Stories May 31, 2012

Foxconn workers, activists claim no change at Apple plants following FLA audits

We reported earlier this month that Foxconn announced it would share the initial costs of improving iPhone and iPad assembly plants with Apple following an agreement to improve working conditions based on recommendations from the Fair Labor Association. Today, according to a report from Reuters, labor watchdog Student & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour released a report claiming Foxconn factories have not changed much since the FLA’s audits:

A fresh report released on Thursday by labor watchdog Student & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM), based on visits to several Foxconn factories and 170 worker interviews, found rights violations “remain the norm” including high production targets, inhumane treatment and signs of overall salary cuts.

“The frontline management continue to impose humiliating disciplinary measures on workers,” it said.

“The above findings demonstrate that Apple and Foxconn have not turned over a new leaf,” the report added.

Even after recently raising wages of some workers by 16 to 25 percent, Reuters’ report claimed average overall salaries decreased and some “had to work unpaid overtime after pay hikes.” A Foxconn worker in Guanlan told Reuters: “The work pressure is still great… There hasn’t been much change. We are still being pushed very hard.”

Foxconn responded to the SACOM report in a statement to Reuters:

“The welfare of our employees is without a doubt our top priority and we are working hard to give our more than one million employees in China a safe and positive working environment,”

workers Stories January 13, 2012

Apple just posted its 2012 Supplier Responsibility Report highlighting its efforts to audit and improve working conditions within its supply chain. As part of the report, Apple also posted a list of 156 companies currently supplying components for Apple products that make up over 97 percent of all “procurement expenditures for materials, manufacturing, and assembly” of its entire product line globally.

The list includes Toshiba Mobile display, which is —as far as we know—currently not supplying displays for Apple. There were rumors in May that claimed Toshiba was working on a 4-inch retina display and rumors last month that Apple and Toshiba are building a plant for display production, which were later debunked by the increasingly unreliable DigiTimes. It also includes Sharp, who was recently rumored to be ruled out of iPad 3-panel production due to quality concerns but also supplies other components to Apple. The full list is available after the break.

In 2011, we conducted 229 audits throughout our supply chain — an 80 percent increase over 2010 — including more than 100 first-time audits. We continue to expand our program to reach deeper into our supply base, and this year we added more detailed and specialized audits that focus on safety and the environment.

Every year Apple audits suppliers in eight areas including: Anti-discrimination, Fair treatment, Prevention of involuntary labor, Prevention of underage labor, Juvenile worker protections, Working hours, Wages and benefits, and Freedom of association. The overall results can be seen in the graphic below. We also learned than Apple found 42 facilities delayed wages, 68 facilities did not provide proper benefits, and 67 facilities held back payments as punishment.

There were also 108 facilities failing to pay legal requirements for overtime and holiday pay, and 5 facilities with 6 active cases of underage labor, to which Apple is requiring the suppliers “support the young workers’ return to school and to improve its management systems.”

In the audits, Apple found 93 facilities currently have more than 50 percent of its staff exceeding the maximum 60 hour workweek (with one day of rest per 7 days) set by Apple’s Code of Conduct for suppliers: expand full story

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