Chinese Apple Supplier Accused Of Workers’ Rights Violations

Worker suicides are still a problem for Foxconn.

Hong Kong-based Biel Crystal Manufactory Ltd — a company that makes iPhone screens for Apple — is violating workers’ rights at its Chinese factories, according to a rights group.

The Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior alleges that Biel Crystal demands that employees work 11-hour shifts, 7 days per week, with just one day off every month.

In addition, employees are reportedly made to sign blank contracts, and are regularly injured as they carry out their work. At least five workers at the company’s Guangdong factory in mainland China have allegedly committed suicide since 2011.

While no comment has been received from Biel Crystal, Apple has responded to the report by stating that it “investigates such cases.”

“We insist that our suppliers provide safe working conditions, treat workers with dignity and respect, and use environmentally responsible manufacturing processes wherever Apple products are made,” Apple said in a statement.

“Every year Apple inspects more factories, going deeper into the supply chain and raising the bar for our suppliers. In 2012 we conducted 393 audits at supplier facilities around the world.”

This isn’t the first time Apple has been criticized by labor rights groups for the working conditions at the factories of Apple suppliers. In October, Foxconn — which assembles almost all of Apple’s most popular devices — admitted to forcing student interns to work illegal shift patterns.

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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