New iPhone models produced in poor conditions
By Aidan Mouellic, Staff Writer
A new report from a New York City-based independent safety auditing company alleges that workers at an Apple supplier Pegatron are being mistreated.
The safety report tells of subpar working conditions in which production workers are working above the maximum 49 hours per week allowed—even above the 60-hour limit that Apple has put in place at its overseas suppliers factories. At the factories where the safety auditing company, China Labour Watch, visited, the average weekly working times per employee were between 66 and 69 hours.
The working conditions were poor enough in the handful of Apple supplying factories overseas that when China Labour Watch took a look into employee-quitting rates, they discovered one factory had a two-week turnover rate of 80 out of 110 new hires.
The safety probe also discovered that despite Apple insisting their suppliers hire fairly, many of the factories openly display posters of their hiring practices which detail how people from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, such as Tibetan or Uighur, were discriminated against employment. Documents also state that potential employees must be over 4’ 11” tall and must be younger than 35-years-old.
The report details many safety and ethics violations, as well as photographs detailing how employees were forced to show their bags to security before leaving the factory and how exhausted workers were made to sleep on floors after their shifts.
Low wages were also a point for concern. The entry-level pay for a production worker is $1.50 per hour, though the figure goes up for overtime to $2.27 per hour on weekdays. Since many of the workers cannot afford to live a distance from the factory, the factory provides accommodations at a reduced cost.
Apple has responded to the report saying that “Our audit teams will return to Pegatron, RiTeng, and AVY for special inspections this week. If our audits find that workers have been underpaid or denied compensation for any time they’ve worked, we will require that Pegatron reimburse them in full. We will investigate these new claims thoroughly, ensure that corrective actions are taken where needed, and report any violations of our code of conduct. We will not tolerate deviations from our code.”