Apple’s under fire again for labor abuses by one of its manufacturing partners again, this time Pegatron. Bizarrely, though, the report incriminating them also confirms the plastic “budget” iPhone, the so-called iPhone 5C.
Last year, Apple launched its Labor and Human Rights page to give some transparency to the human rights controversy’s it’s been having with supply chain workers. Along with numerous explanations on what Apple is doing to make sure its supply chain workers are treated fairly, the company releases the percentage of supplier work-hour compliance every month.
For the first time since Apple started tracking its supplier work-hour compliance metric, they just hit 99% compliance in January 2013.
Earlier this morning reports surfaced that a riot broke out at a Foxconn factory. Sadly, 10 people were killed in the riot while many more have been injured and taken to the hospital. The riot involved 2,000 Foxconn employees who were finally brought under control by 5,000 police officers after a few hours.
The amount of damage done during the riot was massive. Store windows were smashed. Cars were flipped over. We now have some pictures of the vast destruction caused by the rioters. Take a look:
A Foxconn factory in Taiyuan, China — where many of Apple’s devices are assembled before being shipped — has had to be closed after 2,000 workers became involved in a “mass disturbance” on Sunday evening.
The fight reportedly broke out after a personal quarrel involving workers from two different production lines, but messages posted to Chinese microblogging network Sina Weibo have claimed that the brawl was actually caused by factory guards beating Foxconn workers.
SAN FRANCISCO — American companies are rightly proud to show off any manufacturing facilities supporting jobs during the current recession, and San Francisco-based Timbuk2 is no exception. This week, the company known for its messenger bags showed us the hangar here in the Mission district where workers cut and sew colorful swaths of material and help contribute to the local manufacturing economy.
As a group of reporters was ushered through the trendy open-plan set-up, it made us think about what a factory tour of Apple’s manufacturing plants would be like. We’ll never know, of course. Tim Cook would never allow a tour like this one.
Whether or not Foxconn’s running sweatshops is some matter of debate. The China Labor Watch says Foxconn’s iPhone assembly lines are sweatshops, while the Fair Labor Association says that factory worker conditions are much, much better than at actual sweatshops.
Now Foxconn CEO Terry Gou is trying to settle the debate. Yes, Gou says, Foxconn may well be running a sweatshop… but what’s wrong with sweatshops anyway?
That doesn’t sit well with Paul Dost, who launched a counter petition after the TAL story was debunked. Cult of Mac reached out to Dost via email for the story behind the anti-petition petition.
Watchdog group SumOfUs has launched a new petition asking Apple to prove that workers at Foxconn factories in China weren’t subject to illegal overtime to make the iPad 3.
Specifically, they’re looking for Apple to turn over individual worker hours from November 2011-February 2012 to prove they’re not violating China’s labor laws which prohibit more than 36 hours of overtime per month.
Cult of Mac talked to SumOfUs founder Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman about what the group hopes to achieve with this latest petition, launched the morning of the iPad event as of this writing reached 41,500 of its 50,000 signature goal.
What do you do when you’re sitting on a mountain of cash and have a labor condition crisis that has resulted in terrible PR? Give your employees a couple more dollars and hope that satisfies everyone, duh! Apple’s manufacturing partner, Foxconn Technology Group released a statement today that they have raised the wages of their Chinese workers by 16-25% this month. This is the second time wages have risen for Foxconn employees, but the first pay raise still didn’t resolve criticisms over Apple’s labor conditions.
Tim Cook was outraged by a recent report from The New York Times that provided a detailed look at the poor working conditions for Chinese factory workers assembling our Apple gadgets. It seems he’s not the only one. The BSR, a leader in corporate responsibility which works with Apple to develop sustainable business strategies, has labeled the report “inaccurate” and “misleading,” and has requested that it is corrected by the NYT.