Apple: awful working conditions overseas, pay withheld as punishment
Here in San Francisco, one of the top news stories is about the terrible working conditions that exist for Chinese workers who produce the Apple’s iPads and iPhones that are in everyone’s possession today.
The New York Times newspaper has produced an article that comes from “Apple’s own audits of its suppliers, along with interviews with some 40 current and ex-employees.”
San Francisco resident Sarah Covey says, “There should be no hard working conditions especially when a big company like Apple is involved. They should be protecting their workers.”
The Times tells its readers that there has been significant cost to human life. In the last two years alone, according to the Times, there have been poisonous chemicals and explosions and those incidences have caused over 200 people to be injured and have caused the death of four workers.
The Guardian newspaper in the UK reports that there were 12 suicides in one year alone.
Apple has attempted to improve conditions for its workers by issuing a supplier code of conduct and by improving working conditions, but, by Apple’s own audits, over half of the suppliers have broken the code of conduct, according to newser.com
The current rule is that if a supplier breaches the code, and doesn’t correct it within 90 days, then it is supposedly no longer used by Apple, but trying to find new suppliers is both costly and time-consuming for the company. Only 15 such suppliers have been removed as Apple suppliers since the year 2007.
In addition, work weeks are not supposed to be longer than 60 hours, but newser.com reports that:
“According to the code, work weeks are to be capped at 60 hours: But the Times reviewed Foxconn pay stubs that show 12-hour days, six days a week; some workers are reportedly forced to stand for so long their legs swell and their walk turns into a waddle.”
As if that was not bad enough, Apple audits have discovered that some employees are only 15-years old, many records are falsified and pay can be withheld as a form of punishment, says newser.com.
Newser also states that Apple has said things will change and that, even now, they are changing for the better. The company says that there have been “performance improvements” in those factories that have been audited, although most consumers don’t seem to care and are not “clamoring for change”, as newser.com says.
(In the Times in a November survey, only about 2% of those who were asked seemed concerned about Apple’s practices abroad). Some say Apple itself is just ignoring the issues. “They don’t want to pre-empt problems, they just want to avoid embarrassments,” says one consultant who previously worked with Apple,.
Follow Sheila on Twitter (@Sheilamba)
See video on the left-hand side for more on this Apple story. See a slideshow of Apple and Steve Jobs photos here
Apple recently lost its visionary and founder, Steve Jobs. See more articles on Steve Jobs here, by this Examiner:
Apple: Celebrating Steve video now online (photos, video)
Steve Jobs laid to rest on Friday, but where? (photos, video)
Record profits of $6 billion in last three months
Apple earnings overshadow Steve Jobs medical announcement
Arizona child shooting victim: Westboro Baptist Church to picket funeral
Westboro Baptist to picket Steve Jobs’ funeral, says via iPhone (photos, video)
SF learns: Steve Jobs resigns as Apple CEO
Steve Jobs resigns, what happens for Apple now? Some reactions (photos, video)
Breaking: Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, dies (photos…
For a recent Chinese performance in San Francisco that was 5,000 years in the making, see here: SF asks: Shen Yun, how did San Franciscans react? (photos)