Labor rights violation 'common' in Apple's other Chinese suppliers

Labor rights violation 'common' in Apple's other Chinese suppliers

Summary: Inspection of other suppliers finds contraventions rampant and conditions can be "worse" than those at Foxconn, reports watchdog China Labor Watch.


The focus on working conditions at Apple's Chinese supplier has been on Foxconn, but one labor rights watchdog notes labor rights violation is "common" and "rampant" at other factories which manufacture products for Cupertino.

In a statement Thursday, China Labor Watch released the findings of its investigation of 10 factories in China which supply Apple products, including the Foxconn factory. Its study found labor rights violations were still "common" and "rampant" in these factories.

Among the common problems were excessive overtime, long working hours, low wages which drive employees to accept long overtime hours, dangerous working conditions, unsanitary food at factory cafeterias, employees' unfamiliarity with workers' unions, and no social insurance.

Li Qiang, executive director of China Labor Watch, said in the report: "The squeezing of factory workers exists throughout Apple's supply chain in China, and not just at Foxconn. Apple has the responsibility, and the financial resources, to ensure that needed improvements for workers occur systematically and quickly."

The report highlighted the Riteng factory for "particularly poor working conditions" which were worse than Foxconn's working environment. For example, Riteng workers work for nearly 12 hours a day while Foxconn workers work for 10 hours a day. Salaries at the former average around 8.2 Chinese yuan (US$1.30), which is below Foxconn's "still-meager" average hourly wage of 10.2 Chinese yuan (US$1.62), it noted.

To date, most of the focus on labor rights conditions has been on Foxconn, Apple's largest supplier. In February, Apple asked the Fair Labor Association to conduct inspections of working conditions at Apple's Foxconn factories. The watchdog found "significant issues" in the three factories which Apple and Foxconn agreed to remedy.

For example, Foxconn had since created new positions to help improve working conditions at its factories supplying Apple. In May, Foxconn CEO Terry Hou said his company and Apple will share the initial costs of improving labor conditions at the factories which assemble Apple products.

Topics: Software, Government Asia, Legal, Mobility, Operating Systems, China, IT Employment

Liau Yun Qing

About Liau Yun Qing

The only journalist in the team without a Western name, Yun Qing hails from the mountainy Malaysian state, Sabah. She currently covers the hardware and networking beats, as well as everything else that falls into her lap, at ZDNet Asia. Her RSS feed includes tech news sites and most of the Cheezburger network. She is also a cheapskate masquerading as a group-buying addict.

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  • I keep forgetting...

    That no matter who else uses these very same suppliers, Microsoft has issued orders to make Apple look bad. What percentage of ZDNet is owned by Microsoft?
    Jumpin Jack Flash
  • Believe me

    Apple don't need any help looking bad.
    Scarface Claw
  • robots are coming

    Foxconn is aiming to deploy about 1~500K robots into their factories as small trial.
    This is being done in Taiwan and trial already begun, NOT to completely replace human work forces but it's a growing trend in manufacturing..

    Most of people will be jobless after 2050 if they are not given a good education.

    And if they don't even get a chance for education being in 3rd world countries, there's really nothing anyone can do apart from "revolution"
    • Not exactly ^

      It's not that Foxconn is late to the 'Robot Manufacturing' bandwagon, or the "latest trend" as you called it; sadly, it has been cheaper to have assembly by hand. And if it wasn't for the recent surge of attention they're way, regarding the worker's rights, the hours, and recent suicide rates at the company, they'd keep on having higher profit margins. Let the robots take these mundane, toxic 'jobs.' We need change, and are fully capable of making it. Let people focus they're intelligence elsewhere. It just won't be an easy transition until we can all have some kind of goal. But that's a whole other subject.