Apple Suppliers Slammed For ‘Dire’ Factory Conditions

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China Labor Watch says working conditions at many of Apple’s suppliers are as bad, if not worse, than Foxconn

A New York-based labour rights group has said that working conditions at many Apple suppliers are “significantly more dire” than those at Foxconn.

China Labor Watch made the claims in a 133-page report published on Thursday, raising fresh concerns about how Apple products such as iPhones and iPads are manufactured.

Dismal conditions

The group interviewed 620 workers at ten factories run by Apple suppliers, including Toyo Precision Appliance, BYD electronic and Quanta Computer, as part of its four-month investigation. It found that labour rights violations existed at virtually every factory.

The legal limit of 36 hours of overtime per month was regularly exceeded, with some workers performing up to 180 hours of overtime during peak periods, while legal requirements for medical insurance was ignored, despite workers being exposed to hazardous conditions, the group claimed.

Riteng were singled out by the report for dismal working conditions, with employees at its factories working 12 hours a day, longer than the ten-hour days at Foxconn. Half of its workers described safety as “bad”, while the average hourly rate was just 8.2 yuan (£0.83), compared to the 10.2 yuan (£1.03) that Foxconn workers take home.

Apple maintains that it regularly checks working conditions at its supply chain partners and regularly reports on their situation. It said that it had been following up on its monitoring to ensure that its suppliers comply with its labour standards.

Apple and Foxconn promised to improve conditions at the latter’s plants following an investigation and introduced better working hours and wages. However, problems have persisted with some workers threatening to throw themselves off the roof of a factory building in May, while earlier this month a Foxconn worker committed suicide by jumping from his apartment window.

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