Apple Factory Conditions
Over the past week, a firestorm has brewed over a report in Britain's Mail on Sunday which claimed extremely harsh working conditions at iPod factories. The original story is not available online, but Arstechnica has posted a good summary of the article.
In brief, two factories were visited by Mail on Sunday reporters. The first factory was found to be forcing its staff to work 15 hour days for $50 USD per month. The second facility benefited from being in closer proximity to Shanghai, and workdays were shortened to 12 hours/day and workers were paid almost $100 USD per month. Security guards were paid up to $150 USD per month, although much of that had to be paid back to the company for housing and food. In addition to long hours, work days were said to often be accompanied by military-style drills.
Today, Apple officially responded to the allegations with a statement (reported at Playlist/MacCentral):
"We are currently investigating the allegations regarding working conditions in the iPod manufacturing plant in China," said Apple in a statement provided to Macworld. "We do not tolerate any violations of our supplier code of conduct."
Raw Data: Apple Supplier Code of Conduct (pdf)