ICFTU Director of Human Rights ‘not impressed’ by Apple’s iPod report

“Apple Computer has said a report of labour conditions at its iPod plant in China found workers did more than 60 hours a week a third of the time… the report has been criticised by a leading international trade union organisation for not being independently verified,” BBC News reports.

“Janek Kuczkiewicz, director of human and trade union rights at the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), said he was not impressed by the report,” The Beeb reports. “Mr Kuczkiewicz said: ‘We are not impressed either by the report or by the findings of Apple. Apple interviewed just 100 people out of the estimated 30,000 iPod workers. We do not know the conditions in which the interviews were held. We have serious reservations about the report.'”

The Beeb reports, “The audit team said staff earned ‘at least the local minimum wage’ and that half of the 100 people it interviewed earned above that amount.” Mr Kuczkiewicz said Apple had not asked workers what they preferred – a decent wage or minimum wage and overtime. ‘We believe it is the workers’ role to monitor standards. That has not happened at the Apple plant in China. We would like to remind Apple there are other labour standards – freedom from discrimination, freedom of association and freedom to bargain collectively.'”

Full article here.

Related articles:
Apple releases ‘Report on iPod Manufacturing’ – August 17, 2006
Should Apple build its own factory in China to manufacture iPods? – July 03, 2006
iPod maker admits breaking Chinese labor laws; says Apple approved sweatshop labor – June 26, 2006
Apple begins ‘thorough audit’ of Foxconn iPod factory – June 20, 2006
Apple iPod manufacturer Foxconn sternly denies iPod sweatshop claims – June 19, 2006
Apple iPod ‘sweatshop’ story a ‘poorly researched sensationalist article’ – June 19, 2006
Apple rebuts Chinese iPod factory claims – June 13, 2006
iPods made in Chinese sweatshops? – June 13, 2006

52 Comments

  1. Why should they have freedom to bargain collectively when we don’t even have it here?

    (of course, I’m talking in reality, not on paper)

    MW:Country – No matter what country you’re in, the working class gets screwed.

  2. Maybe that Janek fellow needed to be reminded that:

    a) the factory isn’t Apple’s but rather a supplier’s

    b) The factory is in China, which happens to be a sovereign state, no matter how (dis)agreeable their policies might eb

    c) just shut up!

  3. So what exactly is Kuczkiewicz doing to help these people besides getting his name out there in a PR war? I hate when people point the finger, but who do the same. He may not have a supplier in China, but I bet most of the conveniences afforded to him were built in other places including China.

    People never cease to amaze.

  4. Difficult one to call really, that’s the problem when you try to impose western or even American values on the rest of the world. Large parts of the world have hugely different expectations as to living and working conditions. These guys are probably glad of the work. In China the best you expect holiday wise is about 5 days around the October festival and that’s generous.

    Usually if people don’t think they are paid enough the quality of products falls. This doesn’t seem to be the case with the iPod.

  5. People will complain about me using this

    word, but it is so difficult to avoid calling

    this a socialist, anti-corporate, BS attitude.

    “Keep surveying people until you come up with

    something negative. You are making a lot of

    money, so you are evil.” To some people, the

    world will not be right until we are all

    wealthy, OR we are all standing in a soup

    line.

  6. It does not matter that the plant is not an Apple plant, Apple is expected to take responsible decision about who gets to assemble their kit. You guys seem to be om autopilot when it comes to your Apple-praise, of course Apple should be criticized when they screw up.

  7. Janek Kuczkiewicz, director of human and trade union rights at the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), said he was not impressed by the report.

    We would like to remind Apple there are other labour standards – freedom from discrimination, freedom of association and <b>freedom to bargain collectively.</b?

    Hmmmm Director of Human and Trade Union Rights. Gee, it isn’t diffficult to see where this dreeb is coming from.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.