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Practical World True News Magazine

#Business: Apple under fire again for working conditions at Chinese factories

Apple under fire again for working conditions at Chinese factories





BBC investigation finds excessive hours and other problems persist despite promises to clean up act after Foxconn suicides.

Workers in Chinese factories making Apple products continue to be poorly treated, with exhausted employees falling asleep on their 12-hour shifts, the BBC has said after an undercover investigation.

Reporters who took jobs at the Pegatron factories found workers regularly exceeded 60 hours a week – contravening the company’s guidance – and that standards on ID cards, dormitories, work meetings and juvenile workers were also breached.

The broadcaster said promises made by Apple to protect workers in the wake of a spate of suicides at supplier Foxconn in 2010 were “routinely broken”.

Apple said that it disagreed with the BBC’s conclusions.

The BBC filmed a health and safety exam at a Pegatron factory in which workers chanted out answers in unison, meaning there was little chance of failing.

The footage also appeared to show workers had no choice to opt out of doing night shifts or working while standing.

One reporter had to work 18 days in a row despite repeated requests for a day off, the BBC reported.

In response to the programme, Apple told the BBC: “We are aware of no other company doing as much as Apple to ensure fair and safe working conditions.

“We work with suppliers to address shortfalls, and we see continuous and significant improvement, but we know our work is never done.”

The company said it was common for workers to sleep during breaks but it would investigate whether they were falling asleep while working.

It said it monitored the hours worked by more than a million workers, and that staff at Taiwanese-owned Pegatron averaged 55 hours a week.

The investigation by BBC flagship programme Panorama also found that tin from illegal mines in Indonesia where children work in dangerous conditions could be entering Apple’s supple chain.
Apple, which promotes ethically sourced minerals, told the BBC it was attempting to drive changes, and that withdrawing from Indonesian mines altogether would be “the lazy and cowardly path, since it would do nothing to improve the situation”.
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