Update[September 06 12:10 GMT] Following reports of ‘ethical and legal’ violations, both Apple and Jabil have started investigations of their own to weed out the violations and bring everything in order. Apple has sent out a ‘team of experts’ to investigate and look into the claims made by CWL. On the other hand Jabil said that it was ‘troubled’ by the allegations and it has also started its own investigations by sending out an audit team to the facility.
Following an investigation China Labor Watch (CLW) has accused Jabil Circuit, which is believed to be involved in manufacturing Apple’s soon-to-be-released budget iPhone, of a “series of ethical and legal violations.” According to the report, violations have occurred at Jabil’s Wuxi-based factory.
Among the violations uncovered by CLW, major ones include unpaid overtime wages in tune of millions of dollars; more than 100 hours of monthly mandatory overtime, which is three times that of the legal limit; standing work of over 11 hours every day without rest apart from 30 minutes meal break; illegal and inadequate pre-work training; and hiring discrimination.
Some of the other violations observed by CWL include violations of Jabil’s own standard operating procedures; no breaks outside of meal breaks; mandatory worker signatures on list of punishments before signing up for work; lack of grievances channel; less pay for some overtime hours; insufficient training hours; lack of safety related training among others.
Earlier Apple claimed that its supply chain complies with China’s maximum 60-hour work week, although CLW has disputed the fact stating that 60 hour work per week is a direct violation of China’s 49-hour statutory limit.
Jabil may have won the contract as a part of Apple’s strategy of diversifying manufacturing of its low cost, legacy iPhones.
Apple has been under limelight because of reported labour violations in its supply chain. Foxconn, one of the major Apple suppliers was accused of a series of safety violations including suicides, safety, working hours and conditions and also hiring interns of below fourteen years of age which is below the legal working age of 16 years in China.