Apple Working to Remedy Labor Violations Found at Quanta Factories

The Fair Labor Association (FLA) today published a new report examining two factories operated by Apple-supplier Quanta Computer, finding several code violations related to working hours, recruitment policies, compensation, health and safety, and more in August of 2013 [PDF] (via TechCrunch).

Factories examined included a Quanta facility in Shanghai and one in Changshu. Quanta is a long-time Apple partner that manufactures Apple's MacBook Air and much of the rest of the company's Mac lineup.

Violations were found in both locations, with some of the more egregious issues including verbal abuse by supervisors, a hiring fee charged to workers by a broker or labor dispatch agent and long working hours. According to the report, 62 percent of workers in Changshu received no rest day for much of Q4 2012, working as many as 16 days in a row.

supplierscore

Overall score summary of management functions at Changshu

Many workers were also underpaid for sick leave and may have been uncompensated for up to an hour of work each day, based on clock in and clock out times. Some workers were forced into joining the All China Federation of Trade Unions, and there were several safety violations.

Both of the factories fell short of the local requirements for indoor air quality, and neither had easy access to a shower/eyewash station in case of emergency. There was no active worker participation in the Employee Health and Safety committees, and flammable and toxic substances were stored improperly at Shanghai while chemicals at Changshu were not properly monitored.

The Fair Labor Association provided a number of recommendations to improve conditions at the factory, and according to the report, Apple is using the recommendations to work with Quanta to fix each code violation. Apple released a statement on the FLA's Quanta inspection, stating that it has worked closely with Quanta to bring improvements to working conditions.

Our suppliers must live up to the toughest standards in the industry if they want to keep doing business with Apple, which is the first and only technology company to be admitted to the Fair Labor Association. We are committed to providing safe and fair working conditions for everyone in our supply chain.

Last year we conducted 451 comprehensive, in-person audits deep into our supply chain so we could uncover problems and work with our suppliers to fix them. We track and report the weekly working hours for more than 1 million workers, and our 18-month Apple Supplier EHS Academy training program is raising the bar for environment, health and safety management in the industry.

The Quanta facilities inspected by the FLA last year were included in our 2014 Supplier Responsibility report, which we released in February. Our own experts have audited these sites 16 times, most recently last month.

In the year since the FLA’s visit, we have worked closely with Quanta to drive meaningful improvements in areas identified by both the FLA and Apple. Apple conducted four follow-up inspections on top of the annual audits of both facilities, to ensure the needed corrections are in place.

This year, through the end of July, Quanta has averaged 86 percent compliance with our 60-hour workweek. Excessive overtime is not in anyone’s best interest, and we will continue to work closely with Quanta and our other suppliers to prevent it.

Apple initially signed up for factory assessments by the Fair Labor Association back in 2012, following a rash of worker suicides at Foxconn, the factory responsible for assembling many of Apple's mobile devices. The FLA has since helped to improve working conditions in several of Apple's factories, with Apple aiming to bring all workplace compliance standards in line with the FLA's guidelines.

Apple also maintains a Supplier Responsibility team that audits supply chain facilities to ensure compliance with Apple's strict code of conduct preventing underage labor and providing safe, comfortable living conditions for workers. An additional Supplier Responsiblity academic board also evaluates Apple's labor policies and practices and researches labor standards within the supply chain to create ethical working conditions wherever Apple products are produced.

Top Rated Comments

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81 months ago
Samsung is a big company. Why are there never any labor violations reported there ? ?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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81 months ago
Man, I sure hate it when people try to improve anything about the world. Especially when they succeed! How dare people track and report this information and then follow up on it!

(Just helping people out who seem to feel that way about any thread relating to something other than profit and leaked bits of metal :p )
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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81 months ago
Americans "why I'd work that job for free! They should quit complaining"

Watch how Americans don't mind that wealthy businessmen (apple) takes advantage of poor favored workers.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
81 months ago

As a salaried employee you must still be paid for overtime under law. I am salaried and am paid overtime all the time. It is also illegal to work more than 40 hrs a week without paid overtime and illegal to work more than 7 days without a day of rest.

There are many professions that are exempt from U.S. overtime laws. From the Department of Labor website (http://www.dol.gov/compliance/guide/minwage.htm), the exemptions include:


* Executive, administrative, and professional employees (including teachers and academic administrative personnel in elementary and secondary schools), outside sales employees, and certain skilled computer professionals.
* Employees of certain seasonal amusement or recreational establishments
* Employees of certain small newspapers and switchboard operators of small telephone companies
* Seamen employed on foreign vessels
* Employees engaged in fishing operations
* Employees engaged in newspaper delivery
* Farm workers employed on small farms (i.e., those that used less than 500 "man‑days" of farm labor in any calendar quarter of the preceding calendar year)
* Casual babysitters and persons employed as companions to the elderly or infirm
* Certain commissioned employees of retail or service establishments
* Auto, truck, trailer, farm implement, boat, or aircraft salespersons employed by non‑manufacturing establishments primarily engaged in selling these items to ultimate purchasers
* Auto, truck, or farm implement parts‑clerks and mechanics employed by non-manufacturing establishments primarily engaged in selling these items to ultimate purchasers
* Railroad and air carrier employees, taxi drivers, certain employees of motor carriers, seamen on American vessels, and local delivery employees paid on approved trip rate plans
* Announcers, news editors, and chief engineers of certain non‑metropolitan broadcasting stations
* Domestic service workers who reside in their employers' residences
* Employees of motion picture theaters
* Farmworkers


A computer professional making more than about $28 an hour is exempt, for example. That's pretty much every non-novice programmer these days.

And if they paid teachers overtime, every school district would be bankrupt pronto.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
81 months ago

Americans "why I'd work that job for free! They should quit complaining"

Watch how Americans don't mind that wealthy businessmen (apple) takes advantage of poor favored workers.

But how can such travesties occur in a worker's paradise? Especially when those workers are protected by the All China Federation of Trade Unions?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
81 months ago

As a salaried employee you must still be paid for overtime under law. I am salaried and am paid overtime all the time. It is also illegal to work more than 40 hrs a week without paid overtime and illegal to work more than 7 days without a day of rest.

All of you need to seriously report this to your representatives!


What year are you living in? Seriously...
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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