Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) Costs to Rise in China
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) criticized by labor group on China Suppliers
A labor rights group said Thursday it had found “deplorable” conditions at Apple Inc.suppliers in China, following a probe of several firms that supply the US technology giant.
The New York-based China Labor Watch said a 4-month investigation of suppliers to Apple in southern and eastern China uncovered violations of workers’ rights, including excessive overtime and hazardous work conditions.
The lengthy report followed findings announced in March by the Fair Labor Association, or FLA, which toured three Chinese suppliers with Apple’s consent and also reported on forced overtime and other problems.
Executive director of China Labor Watch, Li Qiang, urged Apple to make good on pledges to improve, and in a letter to company CEO Tim Cook called for immediate changes to be made.
Following the FLA report, Apple’s largest supplier, Taiwan’s Foxconn, pledged to end workplace abuses at its factories in China, including overtime above the amount permitted by Chinese law.
Foxconn has come under scrutiny since Y 2010, following a group of suicides and incidents of labor unrest at its Chinese plants. At least 13 of its employees died in apparent suicides in Y 2010, with several more deaths last year.
China Labor Watch reported that other Apple suppliers had treated their staff worse than Foxconn, which has received the most attention.
“The labor rights violations at Foxconn also exist in virtually all other Apple supplier factories and in many cases are actually significantly more dire than Foxconn,” the report said.
The group found employees worked an average of between 100 and 130 hrs of overtime a month at 10 factories, well above China’s legal limit of 36 hours.
Low wages compelled workers to accept overtime and some factories did not properly compensate them for the hours, it stated. Working conditions in factories that produce cases for Apple products were especially poor, the report said.
The group took particular issue with the use of temporary workers hired through employment agencies, which allow companies to pay lower salaries and benefits.
Products of California-based Apple are extremely popular in China, where the iPhone and iPad are particularly coveted by wealthy consumers.
China Labor Watch said more than 70% of the workers it surveyed did not own Apple products, but would like to have at least one.
The 10 companies investigated included Foxconn, Jabil Circuit and BYD Electronic in the southern city of Shenzhen, which borders Hong Kong, as well as Riteng Computer Accessory and Kenseisha in the commercial hub Shanghai.
In Jiangsu province near Shanghai, the group surveyed and interviewed workers at AVY Precision Surface Technology, Toyo Precision Appliance, Catcher Technology, United Win Technology and Tenglong Hardware.
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