Over the time there have been a lot of allegations and remarks regarding the labor regulations in the overseas factories Apple uses to manufacture its hi tech products. So far, there haven’t been many statements from Apple itself, but the company’s annual report on working conditions comes clean, to some extent, about overseas labor violations.
A few months ago, the famous and controversial actor and monologist Mike Daisey was on tour with his new one man show called “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs”. Daisey talked about what’s going on in Apple’s factories in Asia, particularly at Foxconn and the show itself can make some iPad and iPhone users think twice.
Apple has recently released its annual report on working conditions and it has admitted that more than a third of its suppliers do not comply with the company’s rules on working hours. The report shows that workers at 38 percent of its suppliers are working more than 60 hours per week, up from 32 percent in 2010.
At the same time over half the workers at 93 plants were working over this limit during a 12-week audit period. The data shows that involuntary labor was being used at 17 factories, while child labor at five. Also, 67 facilities docked the pay for disciplinary reasons and 42 were delaying payment, while 108 failing to pay proper overtime.
Interesting enough is that for the first time Apple has issued a “more-or-less complete” list of its partner companies. TG writes that among these, two ( Kunshan Changyun Electronic Industry and Catcher Technology” are listed as having a human rights record worse than the Chinese average, by the pressure group China Labor Watch.
Apple also announced that it has signed up to the Fair Labor Association (FLA), becoming the first technology to do so. Auret van Heerden, FLA’s President and CEO, said: “We found that Apple takes supplier responsibility seriously and we look forward to their participation in the Fair Labor Association”.
Auret van Heerden hopes that other companies in IT will follow in Apple’s steps. “We welcome Apple’s commitment to greater transparency and independent oversight, and we hope its participation will set a new standard for the electronics industry” said van Heerden.