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Apple "Deeply Offended" by Accusations of Poor Working Conditions

News by admin on Monday December 22, 2014.

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The BBC's recent expose on working conditions in Chinese factories employed by Apple to build its products has put the company in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Cupertino insists it has the best working practices in the industry, and while Apple is under scrutiny right now there is little doubt that other companies are guilty of similar. The company has responded to the report with a bullish attitude to the content.

We wrote about the report last week:

It seems not though, with the BBC showing leaked hidden camera footage from inside a Pegatron factory on the iPhone 6 production line. The show discovered that "standards on workers' hours, ID cards, dormitories, work meetings and juvenile workers were being breached at the Pegatron factories."

Apple has said that production lines are working around the clock to make sure customers have an iPhone 6. That is the reality, but it seems Apple is willing to meet demands at the cost of workers well-being. The film shows people sleeping on their shifts, on the line taking a nap, something a Pegatron insider said is common practice.

One worker reportedly requested a day off, but was instead forced to work 18 days consecutively (for reference, overtime should be voluntary and not forced), while another said:

"Every time I got back to the dormitories, I wouldn't want to move.

Even if I was hungry I wouldn't want to get up to eat. I just wanted to lie down and rest. I was unable to sleep at night because of the stress."

Apple has said it does not agree with the conclusions of the show, and the company is remaining bullish and saying that sleeping on breaks is common, but employees sleeping on line will be investigated. Cupertino continues to say it does more in this area than any other company, while also adding:

"We are aware of no other company doing as much as Apple to ensure fair and safe working conditions.

We work with suppliers to address shortfalls, and we see continuous and significant improvement, but we know our work is never done."

"Overtime is supposed to be voluntary, but none of the reporters were offered any choice," Panorama reports. "In addition to the excessive hours, one reporter had to attend unpaid meetings before and after work. Another reporter was housed in a dormitory where 12 workers shared a cramped room."

Apple has now hit back at the BBC and said that is was "deeply offended" by the details that the show presented, and of the accusations that the company is not living up to its claims. It is interesting that Apple is not showing much remorse here, or indeed willingness to solve the problems, although I imagine plenty of behind the scenes investigations are being carried out.

It is worth mentioning that Apple does not directly control what happens inside the factories as the company does not own any of its supply manufacturers. That said, Cupertino exerts huge influence over them and certainly has the power to force these Chinese companies to improve their working conditions.

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