Apple details labor violations at its suppliers

March 1, 2010 By JORDAN ROBERTSON , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- Apple Inc. said it found more than a dozen serious violations of labor laws or Apple's own rules at its suppliers that needed immediate correction.

The findings were outlined in a company report on audits of 102 supplier facilities conducted in 2009. That was a year in which questions about the practices of one of Apple's suppliers came into focus after the suicide of a Chinese worker who held a sensitive job handling iPhones.

Along with many other technology companies, , based in Cupertino, Calif., relies heavily on foreign contractors to build its products. Monitoring their labor practices be difficult, and Apple has caught heat in the past on this issue.

The company said in its latest report that "by making a fundamental part of the way we do business, we insist that our suppliers take Apple's code as seriously as we do."

Apple said it found 17 "core" violations, the most serious type.

Those included three cases of underage workers being hired; eight instances of workers paying "" fees that were above the legal limits in those countries; three cases in which suppliers used non-certified vendors to dispose of hazardous waste; and three others in which the companies gave false records during the audits.

In the cases involving underage workers, Apple said three facilities had hired a total of 11 workers who were 15 years old in countries where the minimum employment age is 16. Apple noted that the workers were no longer underage or weren't working for the facilities anymore when the audits were undertaken.

Apple has been pressured before to answer questions about its suppliers' practices.

Last July, a 25-year-old Chinese worker whose job involved shipping iPhone prototypes to Apple killed himself by jumping from the 12th floor of his apartment building amid an investigation into a missing . The worker, Sun Danyong, worked for the Foxconn Technology Group, a Taiwanese manufacturer that has long been one of Apple's key suppliers.

The suicide, and allegations that Foxconn security guards roughed up the worker before his death, prompted a reply from Apple that all of its contractors "must treat workers with respect and dignity."

In 2006, Apple found that workers in a Chinese iPod factory were in many cases exceeding the company's limits for overtime. Apple ordered the factory to comply with its limits. Apple was responding to news reports at the time that at the factory were paid as little as $50 a month and were forced to work 15-hour shifts.

Explore further: Apple files 2nd countersuit against Creative

More information: Apple's report on its suppliers: http://bit.ly/c9eKbT

0 shares

Related Stories

Apple files 2nd countersuit against Creative

June 8, 2006

(AP) -- Apple Computer Inc. has filed a second countersuit against SIngapore-based Creative Technology Ltd., intensifying its legal battle against the smaller media player rival that sued the iPod maker for patent infringement ...

Is Apple gearing up for the iPhone nano?

January 2, 2009

Apple Inc. may be gearing up to introduce cheaper iPhone and MacBook models in 2009, possibly including a device dubbed the iPhone nano, an analyst said Wednesday.

Apple 'to design own computer chips'

April 30, 2009

Apple is building the capability to design its own computer chips in a strategic shift aimed at cutting its reliance on outside suppliers, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Chinese worker commits suicide over missing iPhone

July 22, 2009

(AP) -- An employee at a factory that makes iPhones in China killed himself after a prototype went missing, and Apple Inc. responded Wednesday by saying its suppliers are required to treat workers with dignity and respect.

Taiwan's Foxconn agrees on suicide compensation

July 28, 2009

(AP) -- The Taiwanese employer of a young Chinese man who killed himself after being interrogated over a missing iPhone prototype has agreed to pay compensation to his family, a company official said Tuesday.

Nokia expands patent dispute beyond Apple iPhone

December 29, 2009

(AP) -- Nokia Corp. is broadening a legal dispute it already has with Apple Inc. over the iPhone, saying almost all of the company's other products also violate the Finnish phone maker's patents.

Recommended for you

Power grid forecasting tool reduces costly errors

July 30, 2015

Accurately forecasting future electricity needs is tricky, with sudden weather changes and other variables impacting projections minute by minute. Errors can have grave repercussions, from blackouts to high market costs. ...

Netherlands bank customers can get vocal on payments

August 1, 2015

Are some people fed up with remembering and using passwords and PINs to make it though the day? Those who have had enough would prefer to do without them. For mobile tasks that involve banking, though, it is obvious that ...

Microsoft describes hard-to-mimic authentication gesture

August 1, 2015

Photos. Messages. Bank account codes. And so much more—sit on a person's mobile device, and the question is, how to secure them without having to depend on lengthy password codes of letters and numbers. Vendors promoting ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.