Shocking: Bonded labour, underage labour, underpayment in Apple’s Chinese facilities
Competition with Samsung, Google, LG and Micromax is not the only problem of the iPhone 5 manufacturer. The issue of child labour, bonded labour and non compliance to environmantal and occupational safety standards in its Chinese partners is still a problem for the Cupertino based Mac giant.
The 2013 Progress Report on Apple Supplier Responsibility, which has been published by Apple on its website says “102 facilities did not pay night-shift workers the appropriate pay for legal holidays due to an incorrect interpretation of the law.” At 21 facilities, overtime pay was incorrect and at 15 facilities the base wage used to calculate overtime was insufficient finds the audit.
What was really shocking was 8 facilities were found with bonded labor.
11 facilities were found with underage labor, with a total of 106 active cases and 70 historical cases. In all but one case, the facilities had insufficient controls to verify age or to detect false documentation, but there was no intentional hiring of underage labor.
At 88 facilities, there were instances where appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment), such as safety shoes, gloves, masks, goggles, and earplugs, was not provided to
workers. At 53 facilities, PPE provided to the workers did not meet relevant standards.
72 facilities were found without appropriate in-house occupational hazards monitoring.
106 facilities were not recycling or disposing of hazardous waste as required by law, while 129 facilities lacked management procedures for recycling or disposing of hazardous waste.
65 facilities did not have Environmental Impact Assessment documentation, or the Impact Assessment Report did not cover the new manufacturing processes.
The company has been trying to promote an image of being a labour sensitive company. But this audit report is a push back for the Mac giant.
Last year also we heard news of child labour and labor mistreatment in the factories of its the Chinese partners. Apple CEO Tim Cook also clarified last year in a lengthy letter to all of his employees -"We care about every worker in our worldwide supply chain. Any accident is deeply troubling, and any issue with working conditions is cause for concern. Any suggestion that we don't care is patently false and offensive to us."