Friday, September 20, 2013
The Rights of Workers in a Foreign Apple Assembly Plant
Apple has been in the news very much recently, for such new products as iOS7, the iPhone 5S, and the iPhone 5C. All of these things are positive and exciting for consumers, especially the option of having a cheaper, more accessible iPhone in the iPhone 5C. The methods for creating this phone cheaply are in question now according to an undercover investigation in China, where some workers rights may have been violated. Many of these workers are overworked, grossly underpaid, and put in extreme danger, with little to no safety equipment being used.
The multi-national company, Apple, hires firms that then hire workers in foreign countries to manufacture and assemble the parts of iPhones. One of the companies that does this for Apple is Jabil, which is coming under fire right now. Though Apple imposed a maximum of 60 hours per week of work per worker, Jabil supposedly has had many employees working over 70 hours per week. Further, these extra hours still result in extreme underpayment. In a nearby city, employees make around 3,000 RMB per month, while the workers at the firm under question make less than half that amount per month. The workers at this firm are also subjected to dangerous chemicals, and use nearly no safety equipment. Safety equipment is available to workers, but because they have never been trained in using it, they do not. Apple has recently become aware of this situation, and immediately sent representatives to investigate the situation.
Are these representatives meant in good will, or are they possibly a cover-up for Apple possibly trying to minimize costs through extremely low wages? The iPhone 5C is supposed to be cheap compared to other iPhone’s, but that cost may come at a greater cost to the humans that are the employees of Apple and Jabil. Though this news has flown under the radar because of the glorious things Apple has been producing, this news should be just as publicized.
Workers' rights 'flouted' at Apple iPhone factory in China