The strange part is that Apple has been conducting inspections of its Chinese contractors for seven straight years. Yet here’s what the latest round revealed, according to a compliance report issued Friday by the company itself.
(Apple Compliance Report, p. 16)
(1) A total of 11 Apple-contracted facilities were found using underage labor, with 106 active, individual cases and 70 historical cases. ‘Underage’ is loosely defined as anyone under the age of 15.
(2) Bonded labor was found being practiced at 8 different facilities. This practice, banned in the US, describes an arrangement in which a worker is given a high-interest loan by the factory owner, and forced to work off the principal and interest at excessively low wages (closely related to indentured servitude).
(3) On that note, 8 percent of facilities were forcing workers into involuntary overtime (more than 60 hours a week, without at least one day of rest).
(4) 90 facilities were found deducting wages as a disciplinary measure.
(5) 34 facilities required female applicants to take a pregnancy test.
(6) 25 facilities conducted mandatory medical testing, including for Hepatitis B.
(7) At 88 facilities, proper protective equipment such as safety shoes, gloves, masks, goggles, and earplugs, were not provided to workers.
(8) At 53 facilities, protective equipment was provided but did not meet the safety standards.
(9) 177 facilities did not have proper emergency exits or emergency escape procedures.
(10) 74 facilities did not include night-shift workers in their emergency fire drills.
(11) 34 factories did not conduct emergency evacuation drills at all.
(12) At 20 of the facilities, fire alarms were not installed throughout the premises.
(13) 38 facilities had at least one emergency exit locked.
(14) At 102 of the facilities, night-shift workers were not paid proper overtime wages on holidays.