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  (Source: amazonaws.com)
Some of the factories included in the report are Foxconn Technology Group, Toyo Precision Appliance, and BYD Electronic Co.

China Labor Watch has released a new report showing that employees at Apple's suppliers in China are overworked and were not provided proper health insurance.

China Labor Watch, which is a New York-based labor rights group, created a 133-page report on the conditions of Apple's suppliers' factories in China. The group interviewed 620 workers in 10 factories located throughout China over a four-month period ending in April.

Some of the factories included in the report are Foxconn Technology Group, Toyo Precision Appliance, and BYD Electronic Co.

According to the report, employees worked up to 180 hours of overtime per month when they are only supposed to work a maximum of 36. In addition, some of the factories failed to provide medical insurance to their employees, which is problematic because the factories are hazardous environments.

China Labor Watch also found that a Riteng factory in particular had terrible working conditions where employees were working 12-hour days. Most Foxconn employees work 10-hour days. Also, the rate at Riteng is 8.2 yuan per hour while the average rate is 10.2 yuan per hour at Foxconn.

"From our investigations we found that the labor rights violations at Foxconn also exist in virtually all other Apple supplier factories, and in many cases, are actually significantly more dire than at Foxconn," said China Labor Watch.

Back in January of this year, The New York Times published a report showing that Apple's Asian suppliers were violating the code of conduct repeatedly while Apple did nothing about it. The report described the daily lives of Apple's suppliers' employees, such as those at Apple's top electronics supplier Foxconn. Employees here complained of long working hours and overtime, where many worked 12-hour days at six or more days per week. Some employees’ legs would swell from standing so long as shifts ran 24 hours per day. According to Apple's code of conduct, employees are not to work over 60 hours per week. After the shift ended, 70,000 of Foxconn's employees are crammed into tiny dorms. As many as 20 employees are stuffed into a three-bedroom apartment.

Factory conditions were also a noted issue. For instance, the collection of aluminum dust inside Foxconn's factories in Chengdu and Shanghai resulted in two separate explosions. The first occurred in May 2011 in Foxconn's Chengdu factory, and the second occurred in the Shanghai factory in December 2011.

Apple responded to China Labor Watch's recent report saying that it has been making checks at its supply chain partners regularly.

"As part of our ongoing supplier responsibility program, our team has conducted thorough audits at every facility in China Labor Watch's report," said Kristin Huguet, Apple spokeswoman. "In some places, our auditors found issues similar to those described by China Labor Watch, including overtime violations."

Source: Reuters



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they're all terrible
By stardude692001 on 6/29/2012 3:25:48 AM , Rating: 5
Almost all the factories in china are terrible and well all buy their crap.
The only difference is that apple claims to be the "good guy" when they are the same as the rest. I'm sure they could cut their 30%+ profit margins and give these workers a break, or make their products in america and make the same 5-10% profits the rest of the industry makes.

I don't hate then because they are the same, I hate them because they say they are different.




RE: they're all terrible
By StevoLincolnite on 6/29/2012 4:29:44 AM , Rating: 2
Not all companies treat Chinese workers like crap.
Take Nike for example, they were in the same position as Apple is right now about 2 decades ago... They ended up doing allot of work to improve worker conditions.

Then again, this is what capitalism is all about, business will try to make a product as cheap as possible in order to compete with other business's for your dollar.

Sure... We can all feel bad for the Chinese, but they as a country are going through an Industrial Revolution right now, which most of the Western world did many decades ago. - And you can bet worker conditions for the Western world were just as bad if not worse back then.
Eventually there will come a time where things will pick up for factory workers in China, companies will then move the factory's to other countries where workers are cheap so they can provide us products as cheap as possible, then the cycle will continue.


RE: they're all terrible
By Totally on 6/29/2012 6:13:40 AM , Rating: 5
With Nike, that change only came about because the media made a big stink about it. Their public rep went into the toilet for awhile unlike Apple, apparently since they do no wrong.


RE: they're all terrible
By testerguy on 6/29/12, Rating: -1
RE: they're all terrible
By leviathan05 on 6/29/2012 8:30:08 AM , Rating: 5
You do realize that '/' signifies the end of the formatting so saying '/end' is a move straight out of the Department of Redundancy Department?


RE: they're all terrible
By kattanna on 6/29/2012 10:57:01 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sure... We can all feel bad for the Chinese, but they as a country are going through an Industrial Revolution right now, which most of the Western world did many decades ago. - And you can bet worker conditions for the Western world were just as bad if not worse back then.


exactly. even in this "report" foxconn seems OK compared to others.

one thing that always annoys me about these "reports" is how they are measuring them against our standards, and not against the prevailing standards of their own people.


RE: they're all terrible
By gkpm on 6/29/2012 5:23:43 AM , Rating: 5
They are better than other companies though.

Take this report about VTech (manufacturer for Motorola AT&T and Walmart among others ): http://www.theverge.com/2012/6/25/3115224/report-o...

It's far, far worse than than Apple's reported problems. The photos in particular show just how bad it is: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlcnet/with/740418985...

In light of this it's really no wonder job openings at Foxconn get so many candidates.

I'm unsure why Apple gets an almost exclusive media attention, when there are much more distressing issues happening elsewhere.


RE: they're all terrible
By Solandri on 6/29/2012 3:44:53 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I'm unsure why Apple gets an almost exclusive media attention, when there are much more distressing issues happening elsewhere.

If you buy cheap, low-priced items from Walmart, you expect this sort of thing in their manufacture. If you buy high-end luxury-priced items, you expect a much higher standard in their manufacture. Same reason nobody makes a fuss about Payless' $10 sh_oes being made in terrible conditions in China, while Nike got taken to town when its $200 Air Jordans were made in terrible conditions in China.

I agree part of the spotlight being on Apple is due to them being the market leader. But part of it is also due to Apple marketing themselves as having higher standards. You get judged by the standards you portray yourself as having, not by the standards others set for themselves. That's why a conservative espousing family values but has an affair can be criticized by liberals who sleep with a new partner each night. Or Al Gore's energy-wasting mansion can be criticized by conservatives who don't care a bit about energy conservation.

Once you portray yourself as having higher standards, if you fail to abide by them you're a hypocrite. If you then whine that it's unfair that you're being judged by your own higher standard, then you were a liar when you marketed yourself as higher standards.

(I had to space out sh_oes because for some reason that word causes the preview/post command to fail.)


RE: they're all terrible
By Reclaimer77 on 6/30/2012 9:48:24 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you buy cheap, low-priced items from Walmart, you expect this sort of thing in their manufacture. If you buy high-end luxury-priced items, you expect a much higher standard in their manufacture.


LOL no you don't. Please don't tell me that when most people buy a device, they have an expectation of worker treatment that it took to deliver them that device. Most people don't even WANT to know, truth be told.

If that was the case Japanese cars never would have achieved the market share they have today. Because American labor unions, company insurance, paid vacations and relative short work days would have ensured they became the dominant brands globally. Or at the very least here in America.

I don't care what Apple portrays themselves as, it's up to China's Government to set and enforce it's labor laws. Not any company contracting work there.

Do people actually believe Apple has the power to tell China what it's labor laws should be?


RE: they're all terrible
By The0ne on 6/29/2012 1:09:28 PM , Rating: 2
Most companies in china are like this with the majority of them in much worse conditions and a few who do have standards that they follow. I've done business in China well over the years now to realize and actually see what's going on.

It's not going to be an easy change for them.


Please...
By shabodah on 6/29/2012 8:32:14 AM , Rating: 2
10 to 12 hour days? Oh no. Don't get me wrong, the conditions in China are not very good. Work, home, politics, it's a place I don't want to live. However, Americans work more and more hours and no one here complains much about that. This reminds me of Peta, Americans worrying about animals first, people second. Of course in this case, they are ignoring problems and home to complain about ones abroad, but it is the same time of thing. How about we focus on fixing our problems?




RE: Please...
By praktik on 6/29/2012 11:04:47 AM , Rating: 2
Ya except Americans have you know, labour rights, employer provided health care and various protections the Chinese worker could only dream of (which is ironic, that an ostensibly turbo-capitalist society treats its workers better than an ostensibly communist society). That being said, all is clearly not wonderful in the Land of the Free.

To your point that we should look inward rather than outward, some may look at where Apple is sourcing its jobs and look to domestic effects that has such as taking potential employment and manufacturing opportunities away from American workers. In this one narrow sense (among many), what happens there is affecting problems over here.

Lastly, while the stoic fairy tale of the American worker, dutifully showing up for work bright-eyed and bushy tailed for the last 20 hours of their 60 hour week makes us all feel good about how awesome we are - America's longer worker hours are a factor behind high rates of employee turnover, and survey results like these: (http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2011/03/wor...

"Money may be on workers’ minds, but that isn’t the only reason the American workforce is unhappy. Employees also cited lack of opportunities for growth and advancement (43 percent), heavy workload (43 percent), unrealistic job expectations (40 percent) and long hours (39 percent) as significant sources of stress. Additionally, less than half of employees (43 percent) said they receive adequate non-monetary rewards and recognition for their contributions at work and only 57 percent reported being satisfied with their employer’s work-life practices. Just 52 percent of employees said they feel valued on the job, only two thirds reported being motivated to do their best at work and almost a third (32 percent) indicated that they intend to seek employment elsewhere within the next year."


WTF???????
By flyingpants1 on 7/1/2012 5:56:16 AM , Rating: 2
Has everyone gone nuts? Are you all insane? Do ANY of you realize where ALL your stuff comes from? Virtually EVERYTHING is made with cheap labor from third-world countries. It just doesn't make sense to single out one company in one industry.

What the hell difference does it make whether the workers work 10-hour or 12-hour days, or get paid 40 cents instead of 50 cents? They are not certainly not being forced to work there at gunpoint. They can quit at any time. Apple has absolutely zero obligation to pay them any more or treat them any better. That's called capitalism.




RE: WTF???????
By superstition on 7/4/2012 12:09:05 AM , Rating: 2
People have a hard-on for Apple bashing. It's like a vestige of the often cult-like partisan divide between "Macs and PCs" that has been so important to so many for so many years—particularly PC users frequenting this site who equate Apple with "San Francisco liberal limp-wristed latte-drinking elitists".

Back when the IBM PC was DOS-based, Macs were derided as toy-like things for elitists who are too stupid to use computers. Then, once Windows copied most of the Mac GUI, the complaints changed (such as "Macs are overpriced"—even when comparable PCs weren't necessarily less expensive, particularly in terms of TCO).

Perhaps there will be a silver lining and people will actually start to care enough to do something, instead of just feigning worker support. But, from what I've seen, most people do things like bash Julian Assange/Bradley Manning/Wikileaks for bringing to our attention stories about how the US pressured Haiti into not raising its minimum wage at the behest of US corporations like Hanes and Levi Strauss. There's always lots of outrage to go around, but it's usually misdirected.

I like the idea of funneling some of this outrage, if it is indeed genuine in terms of originating from a desire to see improved worker conditions, into pressuring the government to craft legislation that will affect all workers used by businesses doing business in the USA. Improved universal workers' rights standards for anyone doing business in our country should be a priority. But, that's not going to happen. We'll just allow companies to continue to exploit the poor like we always have while pointing inane fingers with hollow outrage.


In other news...
By karlostomy on 6/29/2012 10:34:38 PM , Rating: 2
USA Labor Watch Releases Excellent Report on Apple Lawyer's Working Conditions in USA

Couldn't resist. ;)




By fteoath64 on 6/30/2012 12:21:20 AM , Rating: 2
It is not surprising that Apple's efforts before were just a "band-aid" fix rather than a huge improvement as they claimed. It ought to show in such reports if improvements are truly obtained from the changes before.

I am totally shocked that the Chinese Government being communist in principle did NOT look after the interest of the workers. They ought to mandate a strong Safety Council to ensure the safety of the workers from dangerous chemicals, explosions and the like. But they seem to let the private sector fend for itself which typically is being abused by the employers. Without a strong and healthy workforce, how can they expect the growth they are expecting ?.




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