Report: Apple Labor Practices Still Fall Short

By

In depressing news that should shock absolutely no one, an investigative report into labor practices of Apple contractors in China found, among other things, that workers at factories run by Foxconn and Pegatron, both major suppliers of Apple, work over 60 hours a week — Apple’s stated cap — and make less than two dollars an hour.

The investigative group China Labor Watch, which provided its new report to The International Business Times, collected 1,200 pay stubs from workers at a Shanghai Pegatron factory in October. An analysis of the stubs shows that over 70 percent of the workers whose stubs were collected (there are 70,000 total in the factory) work more than 60 hours a week, which is the limit officially imposed by Apple on its suppliers.

In its 2015 Supplier Responsibility Progress Report, Apple, which has previously come under fire from China Labor Watch for previous, similar labor violations, said that it had achieved 92 percent compliance from suppliers on limiting workweeks to 60 hours. It declined to include more specific data about its suppliers, including what factories were responsible for the 8 percent of workweeks they found to be over 60 hours.

In 2010, Apple released an internal probe that found that many of its factories employed child labor and overworked employees, with pledges to stem labor violations. However, a 2014 BBC investigation into the same Shanghai Pegatron factory found violations similar to those found by China Labor Watch. In a comment to the BBC, Apple said that the average workweek at the factory is 55 hours.

China Labor Watch also found from the pay-stub analysis that workers for the Shanghai Pegatron factory make about $1.82 an hour.