Apple already has experts on-site in China investigating latest claims of labor violations

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Just hours after a new report slammed an Apple supplier for failing to meet labor laws in China, the iPhone maker has responded and revealed that its investigators are already at the factory in question.

Tim Cook at Foxconn
Apple CEO Tim Cook touring an iPhone production line at a Foxconn plant in Zhengzhou, China.


"We take any concerns about our suppliers very seriously, and our team of experts is on-site at Jabil Wuxi to look into new claims about conditions there," Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said in a comment provided to AllThingsD.

Apple revealed that it has conducted 14 "comprehensive audits" of Jabil in the last five years, and three of those in the past 36 months. Jabil's facility in Wuxi, China, is said to have performed above the company's 92 percent average compliance rate for a 60-hour per work week limit.

"An audit conducted earlier this year did find that some employees had worked more than six consecutive days without a day of rest, and Jabil has been working with our team to better manage overtime," the company said.

The comments from Apple were made in response to a report issued earlier Thursday by watchdog group China Labor Watch. It claimed that workers at the factory have over 100 hours of monthly mandatory overtime, which would be three times the legal limit.

China Labor Watch also claimed that workers at the factory see more than 11 hours of standing work every day, while the Wuxi facility was also accused of inadequate training and hiring discrimination.

The Jabil factory in Wuxi is claimed by China Labor Watch to be outputting new "iPhone 5C" units for Apple. The company has scheduled a press conference for next week, at which it is expected to unveil the new low-cost plastic handset, as well as a new flagship "iPhone 5S."

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    If the "Jabil" plant only produces Apple products, or is in any part owned by Apple, then yes, blame Apple. But what about blaming Jabil? Or the Chinese government? Or making other companies complicit that have products assembled there? Why are they singling out Apple?

    For that reason alone, this smells a bit funny to me. CLW went to the press first, instead of to Apple who is clearly responsive (unlike any other companies) to these kinds of findings. THey make much of APPLE being somehow behind these violations. It gets a full court press release, and clearly broadsides Apple, who launches what is functionally equivalent to "emergency response teams".

    All this in a run up to another product release (I'm seeing a fairly regular pattern evolving here).

    Either the violations start happening because the factories are trying to meet increased order commitments (a possibility, but I also know most people in the factories WANT the overtime so they can earn more), or it's a way for China to push back on Apple's popularity in defense of domestic brands. I figure that CLW is a government mouthpiece, and is evoked to manage Apple's image in the public mind.

    Why not go to Apple first? Give them a chance to investigate? They've been pretty tough on their suppliers. Especially relative to literally ANY other company.

    And why isn't CLW pounding on the government to apply better regulatory enforcement?

    No, just single out Apple, so we can get another apology, and maybe some free iPads.
  • Reply 2 of 19
    I think the labor law should based on the person's willingness, if they want to work more, they can.
    When you complaint that to see a China worker stuck in a factory for 100 hours,
    What about an American work only 8 hours a day, but still texting email checking with their boss, keeping in touch with their clients after work until they really tired and fall a sleep?
    Who want to work, no body. but if we are willing to work more (while they can) so that they can have better life, let them (but don't force them) as long as they pay them well and treat them well.
    Who has a movie theatre or basketball field in your work place? Foxconn does.
    Can you buy a decent lunch with $0.50 US? China can.
    Can you rent a 2 bedroom apartment with $200 US/mth? China can.
    Don't compare with our standard, some are already better us.
  • Reply 3 of 19
    This is a blatant attempt to smudge Apple's release of the new iPhones. Name me another computer company that's even half as proactive as Apple!
  • Reply 4 of 19

    Off topic, AI, but why no mention of MS's smackdown of Motorola in court yesterday?

     

    Google/Motorola (yes Google is involved) have been found GUILTY of abusing their FRAND obligations.

  • Reply 5 of 19
    I just read on a German popular newssite that "Apple supplier is violating blablabla". I cannot recall EVER to have read something similar regarding any other well or better known brand.

    Hm, maybe except for when another sweatshop with children working their for some clothing companies is busted, but even there the headlines are very different.

    Sigh...
  • Reply 6 of 19
    Hi Pot, meet Mr. Black.
  • Reply 7 of 19
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,562member

    For those who do not know, let me explain how china labor laws work. Yes the government has put in place various laws saying how old someone has to be and how many hours they can work and such. They then show the world they are just like the rest of the world and care about how workers are treated. However, you have to ask yourself why isn't the China government all over these companies when stuff like this is made public. You know the US and European Governments would be all over these companies and handling out fines.

     

    However in China, the government needs people working and they also need to keep wages low otherwise western companies will go to the next lower labor cost country and leave China behind. In stead of them going after the violators and make them stop and pay workers more, they simple call the none China base companies who use these China companies and tell them to fix the problem. Like in this case Apple will run over there complain and you know the company there will tell them if they want them to stop the illegal activities they will have to pay workers more and hire more of them, so Apple will have to pay more. 

     

    It is an interesting system that China set up, they do not have to be the enforcer they let the none China companies be the enforce which in turns allow the workers to get a higher pay and China did not have to increase the wage limits. So all you have is the China government using US companies as pawns in their game. 

  • Reply 8 of 19
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,612member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Sacto Joe View Post



    This is a blatant attempt to smudge Apple's release of the new iPhones. Name me another computer company that's even half as proactive as Apple!



    Of course they're slamming Apple.  Notice how everyone "forgot" about Brazil suing Samsung a few weeks ago over labor violations?  Not a peep now.



    Hypocrites.

  • Reply 9 of 19
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    "What about an American work only 8 hours a day, but still texting email checking with their boss, keeping in touch with their clients after work until they really tired and fall a sleep?"

    First world problems :D Love 'em!
  • Reply 10 of 19

    Ugh...  Why is everyone hating China Labor Watch?  Have you guys even look at what they do?

     

    The Apple hating is done by the media and not by China Labor Watch.

    China Labor Watch complains about Samsung and lots of companies.  They also file lawsuits to stop abuse if exposing it does not force changes.  They do not hate Apple.  From what I have seen of their work, I think they are very fair.  It is only the media that picks up the Apple issues and make it page one news.

     

    I am surprised that we don't see this on page one news:

    http://chinalaborwatch.org/pro/proshow-175.html

  • Reply 11 of 19
    China Labor Watch offers about as much transparency as Joe McCarthy or the US FISA Court. Making claims backed up by "we can't reveal our sources because we're protecting them" ain't serving up anymore evidence than "we can't tell you more because of national security".

    That's not what investigative research does when it's more than extortion or grad students who've latched onto a self-serving, profitable hustle.
  • Reply 12 of 19
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,587member

    Here is the reality:

     

    What is the legal limit for hours worked per month in the US?

     

          There is NONE

     

    What is the legal limit for forced overtime in the US?

     

         There is NONE

     

    And here is a good one - How much vacation time is mandatory in the US in your first year working for a company in the US?

     

          ZERO! - For many US companies, you have to work a full year before you get one day off - talk about morally oppressive countries!

     

    We are such hypocrites when trying to tell China and Chinese companies what they should be doing. Lets get off our soapbox and start fixing our own problems.

  • Reply 13 of 19
    i hope apple apple does something about this notion that a 60-hour work week is somehow fucking acceptable! it's not! omg! cut back on the sales, cut back on the manufacturing, and leave your customers to be upset for not getting their precious gold iPhones! my god! stop taking advantage of the chinese work ethic.
  • Reply 14 of 19
    marvfoxmarvfox Posts: 2,275member

    Agreed 100%. Let Apple do the right thing and care about these workers who are killing themselves for the spoiled rich who only care about their newest toys!

  • Reply 15 of 19
    Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post

    Lets get off our soapbox and start fixing our own problems.


     

    Please tell me you don't actually believe they're in any way the same.

     

    Originally Posted by jesuschrist2nd

    i hope apple apple does something about this notion that a 60-hour work week is somehow fucking acceptable!

     

    Shut up and go away. Now.

  • Reply 16 of 19

    Here's a great documentary about the slave-labor conditions at Foxconn.

     

    iSlave:

     

    Inside the Foxconn factory:

  • Reply 17 of 19

    If you can point to a single phone maker that has better labor practices and better supply chain auditing practices than Apple, then go ahead. I'm listening.

     

    If you can't, then shut up.

     

    Apple VOLUNTARILY audits, both internally, and now using external auditors, to find any violations of its VERY responsible labor guidelines. Labor guidelines that in all aspects are superior to those of its competitors.

     

    For instance, there was a story about two years ago about how Apple cut ties with a factory that had 15 year-olds assembling components. The story broke because Apple, through its own internal audit practices, discovered the violation of its own strict labor guidelines.



    But what you didn't read in that story was that Samsung and Lenovo and HP all have labor practices on their books that ALLOW those fifteen year-olds to assemble products wherever it's legal, as it was in the Apple case. So there was no "underage" scandal at Samsung and HP and Lenovo, no sir, because the same 15 year-olds who were underage working on Apple products weren't underage working on those companies' products.



    Get to know all the positive and forward-thinking things Apple does to provide great labor environments for the people working on their products before you go out and choose another company with worse labor practices that they just don't tell you about, or that the media doesn't report on.

     

    Okay?

  • Reply 18 of 19

    I would have just said report and move on. Some stupid statements don't deserve anything.

  • Reply 19 of 19
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post

     

    Here is the reality:

     

    What is the legal limit for hours worked per month in the US?

     

          There is NONE

     

    What is the legal limit for forced overtime in the US?

     

         There is NONE

     

    And here is a good one - How much vacation time is mandatory in the US in your first year working for a company in the US?

     

          ZERO! - For many US companies, you have to work a full year before you get one day off - talk about morally oppressive countries!

     

    We are such hypocrites when trying to tell China and Chinese companies what they should be doing. Lets get off our soapbox and start fixing our own problems.


     

    Only true if you do not have union backing you or your not working for a large company.

     

    The US does require time and half for hourly workers who worked over 40 hours in 7 day period. when I was younger I use to love the hourly job and took ever chance I had to work over time, just love the time and half pay.

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