AfterDawn: Tech news

Apple admits to unfair labor in China

Written by Dave Horvath @ 18 Aug 2006 6:06 User comments (18)

Apple admits to unfair labor in China In a press release earlier, Apple admitted that there has been unfair work environments in their factories in China which produce the iPod.
Apple has said that it's own investigation has shown the working conditions to be excessive, and is now only enforcing a "normal" 60 hour work week. They further went on to say that there was no report of enforced labor or the use of children in their factories.

A representative from Apple has said "Our investigation found that our top iPod manufacturing partner, Foxconn, complies with our supplier code of conduct in most areas and is taking steps to correct the violations we found."

Janek Kuczkiewicz, director of ICFTU (International Confederation of Free Trade Unions) has stated that he is not impressed by Apple's report.


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18 user comments

118.8.2006 6:32

Didn't we already have an article about them admitting their wrongs? Anyways, I knew it all along.

218.8.2006 7:32

The initial article was stating that Apple was investigating claims. This one shows that they admit it was a problem.

318.8.2006 8:03

if you are willing to admit when you are wrong, you are right. Its a start.

418.8.2006 10:07

I agree Junkie. I mean they probably shouldn't have been doing it in the first place but I guess if they are gunna fix they wrongs it aint all bad.

519.8.2006 0:06

oh joy now we know..are they goign tos top it...hell no....

619.8.2006 6:38

Chances are they will keep it up anyways

719.8.2006 8:13

Yes God forbid that human rights got in the way of the Almighty Dollar but then that's what our country is based on now and for many years before this. As long as "I've got mine" then who cares about anyone else? Sad isn't it?

819.8.2006 11:27
919.8.2006 12:01

Fiji5555 Ture ture,look at the great depresstion it was crated due to the unbalance created by the rich. And now its realy no diffrent GW and company hasfcked the contry over our debt our encomoy and our protection is almsot nill soon will we no longer be the USA another cog in the "wolrd" nation the large coperations want to create and and milk from. you know theres nothign wrong with being alittle selfish and doign whats best for the people within the US insted of only to think of the rich and the coperation....

1019.8.2006 12:48

I don't know if you guys can't read English, but Apple did *not* admit that there has been any "unfair work emvironments". Read the report at: These are some actual quotes: ------------- "We found the supplier to be in compliance in the majority of the areas audited. However, we did find violations to our Code of Conduct, as well as other areas for improvement that we are working with the supplier to address." "Our audit of on-site dormitories found no violations of our Code of Conduct. ..We were not satisfied, however, with the living conditions of three of the off-site leased dorms that we visited. .. To address this interim housing situation, the supplier acquired additional land and is currently building new dormitories." "Our investigation confirmed that all workers earn at least the local minimum wage, and our sample audit of payroll records showed that more than half were earning above minimum wage. Employees also have the opportunity to earn bonuses. In addition, the supplier provides a comprehensive medical plan including free annual checkups We did find, however, that the pay structure was unnecessarily complex." "We found no instances of forced overtime and employees confirmed in interviews that they could decline overtime requests without penalty. We did, however, find that employees worked longer hours than permitted by our Code of Conduct, which limits normal workweeks to 60 hours and requires at least one day off each week. ... The supplier has enacted a policy change to enforce the weekly overtime limits set by our Code of Conduct." "Employees work in factories that are generally bright, clean and modern with air-conditioned assembly line areas, and are provided with protective gear. There’s an employee grievance process in place, including a telephone hotline, a CEO mailbox for complaints and employee suggestion boxes. ... Employees expressed dissatisfaction with some aspects of the workplace. The single largest complaint (approximately 20% of interviewed workers) was the lack of overtime during non-peak periods." "During our interviews with employees, we explicitly asked every line worker whether they had ever been subjected to or witnessed objectionable disciplinary punishment. Two employees reported that they had been disciplined by being made to stand at attention. While we did not find this practice to be widespread, Apple has a zero tolerance policy for any instance, isolated or not, of any treatment of workers that could be interpreted as harsh. The supplier has launched an aggressive manager and employee training program to ensure such behavior does not occur in the future." ---------------- As you can see, there is no mention whatsoever or admittance that there are any kind of "unfair work environmments". Saying that they found instances of violations of the Apple Code of Conduct (one of the most strict that I know of), is not an admittance of "unfair working environment", a concept that would immediately be the origin of lawsuits. Mr. Davedough news brief is an example of the usual misinformation coming form someone that has a clear agenda and will misinform just to put forth that agenda.

1119.8.2006 12:57

mpapa and anyones "agenda" going to china is to get cheap labor....if that labor happens to be less than that "states" norm then well better for the corperation.

1219.8.2006 13:00

like anyone in low wage contries are goign to say if they are gettign mistrested or not gettign paid right >> becsue they can be repalced so easily.....

1319.8.2006 19:30

why don't they just bring the ipod manufacturing facilty here to the US? I mean, apple would make less money since they'd have to pay more than just minimum wage, and sure we would probably have about half as much production but I guess perhaps it would be an improvement.. that is, if americans would take these jobs.

1419.8.2006 20:38

Mofomac Becuse they would give up all the moeny they save to pay thier ceos,and hide from taxaion its much cheaper to do it off the books in chna where the govermrent will care what you are doing now and then.

1520.8.2006 8:33

Apple and Unfair Labor Practices From the CSFT.ORG Apple had recently come under fire for contracting companies to build their popular music players in China. The concerns had nothing to do with quality concerns or any type of national unity issue. It’s long been known Apple is largely an ‘In-Practice’ foreign company for much of its efforts. People in the U.S., or at a few of them, raised concerns over the working conditions experienced by those stationed on the assembly line. Whether or not the allegations came from industrial paparazzi only looking to garnish attention, those with an agenda to hurt Apple employees, or people simply pointing out a wrong, the matter needed to be investigated. Without independent validation on how many of the claims were true, the people (Steve Jobs and other Apple employees) that created the opportunity for abuse have advised us the matter will be addressed. Steve Job’s and Apple’s devoted legions will tell you that they did the right thing. Once caught, they did acknowledge the abuses they condoned. If pointed out how employees (many of them claiming to be ‘good’ people had known about the abuses and simply turned the other way in hopes of saving the $.05 extra per unit retailing at $99.99 to $399.99, there would be no defense. This paragraph was added to simply, yet again, state how the actions dictate and not their positions should dictate how we embrace them. Had all those apple leadership positions had leaders, the abuses probably would not have happened and you wouldn’t be reading this. Unless those at Apple were new to the manufacturing environment, none of the factors were unknowns. Isn’t this what Apple has been doing for a living for 30 years now? How long have they been doing business in China and with the supplier in question? Probably long enough to have known to inspect the conditions, if they had any expectation at all of there actually being minimum standards that needed to be adhered to for not only the sake of the employees, but also the resulting quality of products. The only clear cause for this situation was either greed or laziness on someone’s part at Apple. Which steps in the processes were forgotten or deliberately forgotten? In Steve Job’s defense, this could have been the rogue action of the supplier. It may have been that the production levels were completely achievable and no drastic steps were necessary. It may be very possible the who chain from Steve Jobs all the way down to the floor supervisor’s boss were all Leaders and this rogue employee create an environment to not allow feedback of the abuse by the employees. It may very well be this floor supervisor was crafty enough to falsify all documentation showing the condition of the working environment and to hide the issues during Apple’s constant inspections. This may have been one of the greatest cover-ups in all of mankind or at least of this new century. Steve Jobs would therefore not be responsible. However, next time Steve Jobs and those he has in his leadership positions will be on to the clever rouses when inspecting what they expect. At least for the time being the employees have a Hot Line to call, should they feel comfortable in making a complaint.

1620.8.2006 16:11

BostonC Coperatins dont care untill it effects thier PR,if a coperation really cared it woudnt be in china in the frist palce 0-o

1729.8.2006 10:42

Read (or listen to) _The_Undercover_Economist_ to learn about sweetshops from a progressive's view point....among learning that Castro's political longevity is due to trade sanctions, you'll also learn the counter-intuitive idea that sweetshops is the starting area of pulling a 3rd world country out of poverty. You'll also learn that the biggest advocates/propogandists against sweet shops are greedy American groups/corporations. Another dimension of outsourcing to consider is that of quality. 3rd world labor markets are usually cheaper and may usually produce more per unit of time, but the home grown work force is usually of higher quality (few er "bad" units) and turn arround of returns of "bad" units is quicker. This source is from _The_Flat_Earth_, written also by a leftist.

1829.8.2006 14:48

KrisRobin thanks ^^

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