Abuse in Chinese factory producing new iPhones

China Labor Watch finds that the new cheaper smart phone is being made illegally at the expense of workers

By Natasha Lennard
September 6, 2013 6:19PM (UTC)
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Apple's latest, cheaper iPhone model is being produced under "abusive" conditions in a Chinese factory, nonprofit group China Labor Watch has reported.

Based on interviews with dozens of employees at the Wuxi plant, near Shanghai, which employs 30,000 in all, workers making the new iPhone toil in unsafe conditions six days a week, standing for 12-hour shifts with just two 30-minute breaks. While Apple has imposed a maximum work week of 60 hours (already long), China Labor Watch states that the Wuxi employees work an average of 69.


The factory used by Apple is owned by Florida-based firm Jabil Circuit, which owns plants in over 30 countries. Both Jabil Smith and Apple have responded to China Labor Watch's report with vows to investigate and put a stop to any abusive working conditions.

This is hardly the first report, however, of poor working conditions for Apple product factory workers in recent years. Working under inhumane conditions, 17 workers killed themselves in a spate of suicides and attempted suicides at Foxconn-owned factories in China (which produce Apple products, among others).

Apple has released a statement saying representatives are already "on site" in the Wuxi plant to investigate claims of abuse.

Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

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Apple China China Labor Watch Factory Factory Workers Foxconn Iphone Jabil Smith Labor Rights Worker Rights