In a report entitled ‘Apple Fails in its Responsibility to Monitor Suppliers’ published yesterday, the organization for Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM) have called out electronics manufacturers such as Apple, Samsung, and Microsoft for side-stepping their responsibilities and employing waves of supposed “interns” at their factories in Shenzen, China
“The long working hours, unachievable production quotas, and alleged unpaid overtime work has driven workers from Apple suppliers and accelerated the turnover rate, which in turn, has compelled Apple suppliers to depend heavily on labor agencies to recruit an increasing number of dispatch workers”, SACOM has said.
In one instance, a labor agency claimed they had been filing up to 1,000 workers in and out of the factories per day, and that some universities have even started encouraging students to do stints at Apple factories as part of their studies. Select reports have schools going as far to refuse passing grades to those who don’t participate in the program, stating the local economy is so heavily dependent on giants like Samsung, Apple, and Dell to keep a manufacturing base churning in the region they feel an obligation to cooperate.
Apple has been adamant the allegations are false on all accounts, citing its latest audit of over one million workers which claimed that at least 92 percent of those surveyed had not gone over the 60-hour work week limit. An Apple spokesperson has been quoted as saying the company is “working towards improving standards for their workforce”, although according to interviews with 130 workers from various departments in the factories, conditions have actually worsened since last year when the program was put in place. The Cupertino gadget giant maintains they’re “looking into” the student intern issue, and would be requiring all their suppliers to submit a list of the workers in the program along with the schools represented on the production floor.
It’s usually the one’s going out of their way to prove their innocence who are the most guilty, so who’s to judge just how accurate these numbers or the people supplying them may be. Stay tuned to t3kd for more developments on this story as they progress.