Hong Kong-Based Apple Supplier Biel Crystal Accused of Workers Rights Violations

biel_crystal_photo Hong Kong-based nonprofit Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM) has brought forth allegations (via Reuters) of major labor issues at Chinese factories belonging to Biel Crystal, a Hong-Kong based display supplier to Apple.

The workers rights group accuses the company of labor violations, such as forced 11-hour shifts, seven days a week, with only one day off each each month. Other accusations include the inadequate compensation to workers when they are injured, with employees reportedly required to sign blank contracts. The report also states that five workers at a company factory have committed suicide since 2011.

Apple also commented on the new accusations towards Biel Crystal:

"We insist that our suppliers provide safe working conditions, treat workers with dignity and respect, and use environmentally responsible manufacturing processes wherever Apple products are made," Apple said in a statement sent to Reuters in response to the SACOM report.

Biel Crystal employs more than 60,000 workers and has two factories in the Chinese provinces of Guangdong and Shenzhen. The new accusations also come after a number of alleged labor violations at Apple suppliers earlier this year, including reported workers rights issues at iPhone 5c supplier Jabil Circuit and primary supplier Pegatron. Apple also later issued a statement on the labor controversies surrounding Jabil Circuit, pledging to investigate.

Apple announced in July that it was forming an academic advisory board for its Supplier Responsibility program, saying that it wanted to ensure “safe and ethical working conditions wherever its products are made.” Apple has also published Supplier Responsibility Progress Reports every year since 2007, tracking the ethical progress of its suppliers in order to bring transparency to its product manufacturing process.

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Top Rated Comments

gnasher729 Avatar
138 months ago
Do the factories mentioned actually produce things for Apple? If yes, how many of those 60,000 employees work on products made for Apple, and how many work on products made for other companies? Who are the other companies?

There have been reportedly 5 suicides of employees since 2011. The population of the USA is about 5,000 times the number of Biel employees. Have there been more or fewer than 25,000 suicides in the USA since 2011? (Answer: About 40,000 per year). Did these suicides have anything to do with being employed at the company? Did they have anything to do with working on products for Apple?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
winston1236 Avatar
138 months ago
As a Hong Kong student, I just want to say: "Please annoy these attention w___e" (For give me language, but they are. )
They can't have sex in dorm, they don't have homework to do, so they try to get attention from anywhere they can find.
They don't care the truth, they don't do fact check, they just drop a claim in media and wait the media chase its tail. They are worse than Fox News.
(We have a "kidnap" happen at Saturday, by Sunday at least 70% people believe this is for human trafficking, so media suggest kick Chinese people out, but it turns out the mum possibly hides the baby.
And we almost shut down because four media w___e try to get donation.
Cry baby has become the new Hong Kong culture. )

Does Hong Kong student mean an employee trolling the internet for stories about your company to comment on?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
numlock Avatar
138 months ago
What a ********* up mindset.
You have really not a clue what you are talking about.

"Nobody is saying people killing themselves right after working on the production of apple products". But of course that is _exactly_ what the article wants you to believe. Otherwise, why is Apple even mentioned?

"and then there is the hypocrisy of wanting to be the best, most loved and most popular but not wanting to bear any social responsibility. " Totally wrong. You just have to go to Apple's website, where since 2007 they have published what they have done to improve working conditions, year after year after year.
what kind of a mindless apple drone are you?

there is nothing in the article that makes an innocent reader think that there is a correlation between the production of apple parts/products and suicide. its perfectly logical to name the highest profile customer of this particular plant/company.

are you freaking joking me? referring to companies very own pr social responsibility pages (thats like trusting samsungs benchmark results). apple has dragged its feet on this subject and the environmental one. if having apple named in a report like this upsets you so much then let them know it offends your pristine view of them

you dont seem to be arguing against workers right so i would think you would applaud any and all tips apple (and others) receive to improve their way of doing business
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
IbisDoc Avatar
138 months ago
If that's the case, why bother mentioning Apple at all? Fact is, they stepped in at Foxconn, now they're expected to fix all the problems.

I recommend that they speak the only language that Apple and the defenders of all things Apple understand:

If they could avoid the cost of installation and maintenance of suicide nets (by no longer exploiting third world labor), Apple could further boost its profit margin. That should get Tim Cook fairly excited.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gixxerfool Avatar
138 months ago
That's a straw man argument. It's not about Apple being in charge of fixing. As the industry leader, which they celebrate at almost every opportunity, they SHOULDN'T BE DOING BUSINESS with these types of companies.

Of course, we all know if the employees were fighting for marriage equality, Apple would be ALL over it. That's a much more important issue that exploitation of work forces.


If that's the case, why bother mentioning Apple at all? Fact is, they stepped in at Foxconn, now they're expected to fix all the problems.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Drunken Master Avatar
138 months ago
This just in: the luxuries of the privileged classes throughout history built upon the broken backs and toil of exploited slaves.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)