Chinese workers are forced to work 12-hour days, mostly standing, to assemble Apple’s cheap new iPhone, the iPhone 5C, according to a new
report from China Labour Watch, the workers’ rights watchdog.
The report was created by under cover workers at Jabil Circuit in Wuxi, China. They found workers who put in 11-hour shifts with only 30 minute breaks to eat. Much of that break time was taken up by standing in security lines, so staff had only 5 minutes to eat.
The workers, who are paid around $US245 a month, live in crowded, dirty dorms. As the factory runs 24 hours a day, they sleep in shifts, up to eight to a room. The conditions are similar to those endured by workers putting together the new iPhone 5S, which is expected to be unveiled on Sept. 10.
Apple says it has audited the Jabil factory 14 times since 2008. “Year to date, Jabil Wuxi has performed above our 92% average for compliance with Apple’s 60-hour per week limit,” the company says. You can read more about Apple’s supplier monitoring program here.
Here are some images from CLW’s report and video. We’ve gathered some photos of the inside of the Jabil factory and its dorms in the following gallery.
Workers are charged fees by 'dispatch' companies to get jobs at Apple's factories. This is one of the dorms they are housed in.
Workers sleep in shifts. Night- and day-shifts are assigned the same rooms, CLW says, so workers are constantly being awoken by their colleagues.
Inside the factory, workers do more than 11 hours of standing work every day with only 30-minute meal breaks, CLW alleges.
Inside the factory, job training lasts only two hours, CLW says. Exam answers are given by the trainer to be copied directly onto the answer sheet.
Workers must assemble 90 plastic iPhone 5C covers per hour. If they fall behind, they must make up the difference with unpaid overtime.
This is the factory cafeteria: Despite continual standing, workers are given only a 30-minute meal breaks during a 12-hour shift.
After entering and leaving through security checks, workers often get just five minutes to eat. If they can stay awake to eat, of course. Sleep is a higher priority than food, according to CLW's source.
If a worker needs a drink of water or to go the bathroom, she needs to get approval from her line leader, CLW says.
Workers are transported to and from the dorms in buses. They are required to work over 100 hours of monthly mandatory overtime.
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