The same Jabil Circuit Inc. facility in Wuxi, China that faced labor violation accusations last September just before the iPhone 5S and 5C release is facing similar charges this September, after the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus release.
New York-based human rights group China Labor Watch claimed in a Sept. 25 report that workers at Jabil Green Point in Wuxi, which makes iPhone 6 covers, are made to work up to 77 hours per week under high-pressure and unsafe working conditions to meet production demands, yet still unable to earn the average local wage.
Comparing finds from the 2013 report and 2014 report, both based on investigations conducted by undercover operatives posing as real employees, CLW said “little has changed.” In fact, “some violations are new and worse than those uncovered in 2013.”
While the latest version of the iPhone has an aluminum cover, the Jabil facility still has extensive injection molding.
Jabil Wuxi workers are made to perform even longer overtime than last year (up to 158 hours per month), working in buildings that are still under construction, with ceiling slabs falling down around the production line, CLW said. And the workers are not permitted to talk or even look up from their work.
Other violations gathered by CLW include hiring discrimination against pregnant women, insufficient payment of social insurance, poor sanitation, verbally abusive management, disapproval of sick leave, difficulty in resignation, poor quality of meals, harsh punishment measures, crowned dormitories, etc.
The findings show not only a complete lack of implementation of Apple's promised labor conditions but also Chinese labor laws, CLW said, noting the particular timing of these alleged violations around Apple's new product releases.
In an email statement to Plastics News, Jabil Senior Vice President, Investor Relations & Communications, Beth Walters, said such allegations are “certainly upsetting.
“We take reports such as the China Labor Watch report very seriously… If any [accusations] are found to be valid and not meeting our high standards, rapid remedies will be made,” she said, adding that Jabil Vice President of Social & Environmental Responsibility makes full-time efforts on assessing these allegations.
“We live by a very simple code: Do the Right Thing. It's the backbone of our culture and is the expected behavior at all levels of our company,” she stated.
“We are not perfect, but certainly strive to be.”