New York-based labor rights group says Apple suppliers in China breaking labor laws

“Apple Inc’s suppliers in China have violated local labor laws when they imposed excessive overtime and skimped on insurance, a New York-based labor rights group said,” Lee Chyen Yee reports for Reuters. “Apple and its suppliers such as Taiwanese tycoon Terry Gou’s Foxconn Technology Group have been the target of labor rights groups, which say the world’s most valuable technology company are making iPhones and iPads in massive sweat shops.”

“‘From our investigations we found that the labor rights violations at Foxconn also exist in virtually all other Apple supplier factories, and in many cases, are actually significantly more dire than at Foxconn,’ China Labor Watch said in a 133-page report released on Thursday,” Yee reports. “A four-month investigation through April showed workers work up to 180 hours of overtime a month during peak periods, exceeding the legal limit of 36 hours per month, the group said, citing Riteng, a unit of Taiwan’s Pegatron Corp, as an example.”

Yee reports, “China Labor Watch interviewed 620 workers at 10 factories run by Apple suppliers, including Toyo Precision Appliance and BYD Electronic (International) Co. The group also spoke with workers at factories run by units of Quanta Computer Inc, Wintek Corp and U.S.-listed Jabil Circuit Inc. ‘As part of our ongoing supplier responsibility program, our team has conducted thorough audits at every facility in China Labor Watch’s report,’ Kristin Huguet, an Apple spokeswoman based in Cupertino, California, said in an e-mail. ‘In some places, our auditors found issues similar to those described by China Labor Watch, including overtime violations,” she said, when asked to comment on the report.'”

“The report singled out Riteng for dismal work conditions, saying workers work almost 12 hours a day, longer than 10 hours a day at Foxconn, Apple’s main supplier. Half of Riteng’s workers described safety conditions as “bad,” more than Foxconn’s 2 percent, according to the report. The average hourly wage at Riteng is 8.2 yuan ($1.29), well below the average rate 10.2 yuan at Foxconn,” Yee reports. “The Pegatron unit was not immediately available for comment.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Sounds like the problem lies mainly with Riteng’s Pegatron which, like Foxconn and other assembly factories in China, has a number of clients, including Asustek Computer, Acer, Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Microsoft, and Toshiba, to name but a few. Once again, Apple very unfairly gets not only blamed, but is practically assigned ownership of these foreign companies with which they simply contract for product assembly. With supplier audits, thirid-party independent audits, on-site CEO visits, annual progress reports, a website (Apple Supplier Responsibility), and more, Apple has already gone above and beyond every other one of these companies which basically sit around doing nothing whatsoever to improve the situation.


    1. Warren Buffet’s company owns shares in BYD electroncs parent. Why doesn’t he take some heat for investing in a company with blatant disregard for labor laws. They should also check into Govt Motors (GM) plants and suppliers.

  1. As far as I am concerned This is a problem the Chinese Government needs to address…. If they know of abuses. And it’s their laws being violated they need to act.

    Do you believe OSHA would rely on a foreign company to correct labor law abuses in the US …..nay nay….

  2. Worldwide workers seek out employment that pays the best. That hasn’t changed in centuries, and has led to mass migrations.

    Foxconn employs over 700,000. Surely if employment elsewhere paid better/offered better working condions, those workers would leave their current employer.

    The reality is that when positions are announced at Foxconn thousands line up to work in these “sweat shops”. The bottom line is that these non-profit “researchers” are trolling for their next paycheck, and care little about workers ANYWHERE. Their crap gets repeated because the media is desperate for content. If it weren’t for Apple’s name these “reports” wouldn’t see the light of day.

  3. Hold on, folks.
    Think this through – there are definitely labor issues in China where people aren’t treated fairly. Those companies don’t care if some US organization accuses them of this. They also don’t care if some random puny tech company complains about it. They probably DO care if Apple complains and pushes them to improve.
    So, if you’re a group trying to help increase fair treatment of Chinese workers, you put pressure on Apple to pressure its suppliers. The fact that some random other companies use those same suppliers is irrelevant to _improving the lives of those workers_.
    Apple has the most power here, and you know what Peter’s Uncle Ben said: “With great power comes great responsibility.”
    Apple has worked to make things better. Keeping pressure on them to continue makes a lot of sense.
    Also, Apple’s a big kid now – it doesn’t need you to protect it from the mean do-gooders.

  4. KC:
    Are you saying that Chinese labor conditions are as good as they should be? My argument was that they aren’t as good as they should be, and that Apple probably has the most power to continue to improve things. Note that I just gave them credit for improving things already.
    Mike Daisy seems to be someone who somewhat cares about Chinese workers, but much more than that cares about aggrandizing himself. He knew that his fabrications would undermine a cause that is trying to deal with real areas of concern, but did it anyway, then defended his actions.
    The fact that some organizations or people exaggerate issues doesn’t mean there aren’t real issues – it just gives heartless people the excuse they so desperately want to ignore the problem. So, calling them “quacks” is interesting. Does that mean that you believe Chinese labor conditions are fair and just, or do you believe that, because some groups are zealous in trying to help them, those workers’ real problems can be ignored?

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