Sadly, whenever Apple is about to launch a new product, we tend to hear about violations of workers’ rights in Apple’s supply chain. It makes sense. A lot of companies bid against each other for Apple’s business in Asia, then don’t have the money to hire enough workers to fulfill Apple’s huge orders. The result? They force the workers they have to do more work over longer hours for less pay. It’s scummy, but as long as Apple isn’t operating every aspect of its manufacturing itself, it’s probably unavoidable.
This year’s no different. According to the China Labor Watch, employees at a Chinese factory owned by Florida-based Jabil Circuit which is reportedly making Apple’s iPhone 5C are being given inadequate training, and being forced to work long hours without overtime.
From the report:
Among the infringements uncovered by CLW include millions of dollars in unpaid overtime wages; over 100 hours of monthly mandatory overtime, three times in excess of legal limits; more than 11 hours of standing work every day with no rest outside of 30-minute meal breaks; illegally inadequate pre-work training; hiring discrimination; and more.
Jabil is a small partner for Apple compared to Foxconn or Pegatron. According to the China Labor Watch, Jabil makes cases for several models of iPhone, including the iPhone 5. Right now, though, they are hard at work putting together candy-colored iPhone 5C shells.
To be fair to Apple, Cupertino does more than any other company to protect the rights of workers in its supply chain, and openly publishes its Supplier Responsibility Progress Report. In fact, they fired a supplier for hiring child laborers early this year. But the truth is that when your manufacturing is done half-a-world away, it’s impossible to keep your eye on everything. No wonder Apple is trying to bring more manufacturing back to the United States.
Source: China Labor Watch