1,000 workers at a Jingmo Electronics factory in Shenzhen, China, staged a strike earlier this week over long hours and poor working conditions. The factory supplies keyboards to companies like IBM, LG, and Apple, and China Labor Watch is now calling for these companies to improve the working conditions for the employees at the factory, focusing specifically on Apple.
The Jingmo plant, which is owned by Jingyuan Computer Group, one of the world’s largest keyboard manufacturers in Taiwan, employs around 3,000 workers in total, roughly around 10% of which are said to be on the Apple assembly line.
Management are reportedly forcing staff to work unreasonable levels of overtime that equate to around 120 hours extra a month, according to M.I.C. Gadget:
The workers are pissed of the 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.
In addition to enforcing overtime, workers’ grievances are said to include common workplace injuries, the dismissal of older workers, a lack of benefits, and verbal abuse from managers, according to China Labor Watch, which is urging Apple in particular 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.”
“Apart from the overtime issue, the workers said that they also had other grievances with the factory. These include the high rate of workplace injuries (there have been nearly 20 recently), mass layoffs of older workers and the lack of any benefits. Apart from these more tangible hardships, factory managers often verbally abuse and bully the workers, causing them severe emotional distress.”
Around a third of the workforce staged a strike earlier this week in protest, blocking a highway Shenzhen. The strike ended later that day after company officials promised to reduce the amount of overtime staff were forced to work.