Apple investigating accusations of labor misconduct in supply chain

Recently the working conditions within Apple's supply chain have come under fire again. A watchdog group called the China Labor Watch claimed that a US-owned Jabil Circuit factory in Wuxi, China, had been engaging in hiring discrimination, unpaid overtime well above legal limits, subpar training, and a long list other violations. Many of these are related to the production of the upcoming iPhone 5c. Apple has since issued a statement reaffirming their commitment to responsible labor practices, and announcing that they've sent a team to Wuxi to investigate the claims. Jabil responded to the allegations with dismay, citing their own ongoing progress and rising standards on the social responsibility front. Here's Apple's statement in full.

Apple is committed to providing safe and fair working conditions throughout our supply chain. We lead the industry with far-reaching and specialized audits, the most transparent reporting and educational programs that enrich the lives of workers who make our products. Apple is the first and only technology company to be admitted to the Fair Labor Association, and we are dedicated to protecting every worker in our supply chain. As part of our extensive Supplier Responsibility program, Apple has conducted 14 comprehensive audits at Jabil facilities since 2008, including three audits of Jabil Wuxi in the past 36 months. We take any concerns about our suppliers very seriously, and our team of experts is on-site at Jabil Wuxi to look into the new claims about conditions there. Jabil has a proactive auditing program of their own and they have an excellent track record of meeting Apple’s high standards. Employees at Jabil are among the 1 million workers in Apple’s supply chain whose working hours we track each week and report on our website. Year to date, Jabil Wuxi has performed above our 92% average for compliance with Apple’s 60-hour per week limit. An audit completed earlier this year did find that some employees had worked more than six consecutive days without a day of rest, and Jabil has been working with our team to better manage overtime. We are proud of the work we do with our suppliers to improve conditions for workers. Our program goes far beyond monitoring by ensuring corrective actions where they are needed and aggressively enforcing our supplier code of conduct wherever Apple products are made. We believe in transparency and accountability, both for our suppliers and ourselves.

Earlier this summer, China Labor Watch had also called out Pegatron for a number of violations, which Apple had also investigated. It's worth reminding y'all that Apple is pretty good about looking into these kinds of things - even more than most electronics manufacturers, though that's in no small part due to their high profile and the amount of public scrutiny that comes along with that.

Source: AllThingsD

Simon Sage

Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.