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Chinese factory building Apple iPhone 5C criticised by CLW

A Chinese (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) and Pegatron (opens in new tab) plants given scathing reports in the past.

Got your watch set to count down mode ahead of Apple's big 10 September unveiling? Follow our live updating coverage of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C launch (opens in new tab) for all the latest news and analysis and be sure to join us on the day!

Jamie Hinks

Jamie is a freelance writer with over eight years experience writing for online audiences about technology and other topics. In his time writing for ITProPortal he wrote daily news stories covering the IT industry and the worldwide technology market, as well as features that covered every part of the IT market, from the latest start ups to multinational companies and everything encompassed by the IT sector. He has also written tech content for our sister publication, TechRadar Pro. Jamie has since moved into sports betting content and is Content Manager at Betbull.