Chinese factory building Apple iPhone 5C criticised by CLW

A Chinese factory producing Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5C has been accused of illegal and abusive working conditions by a non-profit organisation.

China Labor Watch [CLW] claims that a factory owned by Florida-based Jabil Circuit is flouting worker rights by asking them to stand for 12-hour shifts for six days a week with two 30-minute breaks per shift.

"It is the duty of national governments to regulate the conduct of their companies abroad. The US government also shares in the responsibility for labour abuses committed by US companies manufacturing in China,” said China Labor Watch.

Jabil, the owner of the Wuxi plant near Shanghai, stated it uncovered the same problems last month and is already taking steps to investigate the latest allegations. The plant is producing the cases for the new iPhone 5C.

The report produced by CLW is the result of interviews carried out with about 90 employees and evidence gathered by an undercover investigator at the plant.

Most of Jabil’s 30,000 workers at the plant are hired through employment agencies, the investigators have said, and this is even though there is a local law stipulating a limit of 30 per cent of the workers coming from agencies.

The report claims that for workers to be employed at the plant they must sign two-year contracts that include large sign-up fees as well as charges to process identification documents, set up bank accounts and for intrusive medical exams.

CLW also claims that any female workers at the factory are asked to undergo pregnancy tests, which is a strict breach of Chinese law and Apple’s own code of practice.

It isn’t the first time Apple factories producing components in China have been investigated by CLW with Foxconn and Pegatron plants given scathing reports in the past.

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