Apple cited by China Labour Watch over working conditions

A Bloomberg report issued this week, as well as a pending report from China Labour Watch, both claim that an Apple subcontractor in China failed to consistently supply earplugs and goggles to workers. The facility, workers say, frequently has tiny metallic particles in the air, as well as noise levels of more than 80 decibels.

There is also no showers or hot water in dormitories, often causing workers to go without washing for several consecutive days.

A worker said to Bloomberg: “My hands turned bloodless white after a day of work. I only tell good things to my family and keep the sufferings like this for myself.”

After interviewing 50 workers for its pending report, China Labour Watch found huge issues with occupational safety, pollution and scheduling. The group claims that the firm also violates Chinese legislation regarding wages owed to employees whose contracts have come to an end.

Other issues include no clear procedures, insufficient training, overcrowded dorms with pitiful climate control, sub-standard respiratory filters, the consistent smell of solvent off-gassing, and no rubber gloves to protect workers against fluid spray.

China Labour Watch, however, didn’t find any proof of child labour practices.

Apple subsequently sent a team to investigate, but a spokesperson afterwards said they interviewed 150 individuals and found no proof that the allegations were true. She added: “We know our work is never done and we investigate each and every allegation that’s made.”

The particular subcontractor mills Apple’s MacBook and iPhone enclosures, but it also works for HP, Samsung, LG, Lenovo and others – but both China Labour Watch and Bloomberg only mentioned the other firms in passing.

The latest report about the firm’s Sugian facility confirms, however, the findings of similar reports released in 2013 and 2014 about pay issues and handling of hazardous materials.

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