Thursday, September 05, 2013

China Labor Watch accuses alleged iPhone 5C manufacturer of 'ethical and legal labor violations'

The alleged manufacturer of Apple's rumored lower-cost iPhone, the iPhone 5C (alleged and rumored have to be used as terms due to Apple's extreme secrecy around new releases), has been accused by labor rights organization China Labor Watch of “a series of ethical and legal labor violations.” (via TNW).

The iPhone 5C is expected to be unveiled at Apple's already announced Sept. 10 press event. The device is expected to come in a range of colors, sport a plastic shell to keep costs down, and contain iPhone 5 internals.

While Apple has not confirmed its manufacturing partners for the device, or even that the device exists, China Labor Watch says it is already being produced by electronics manufacturer Jabil Circuit, and accuses the company of a range of labor violations:
Among the infringements uncovered by CLW include millions of dollars in unpaid overtime wages; over 100 hours of monthly mandatory overtime, three times in excess of legal limits; more than 11 hours of standing work every day with no rest outside of 30-minute meal breaks; illegally inadequate pre-work training; hiring discrimination; and more.
Jabil is less well-known than other Asian Apple partners in Asia, such as Foxconn or Pegatron. However, the St. Petersburg, Fla.-based company already makes cases for iPhone devices, including the iPhone 5. CLW claims the violations have occurred at its Wuxi-based factory.

Apple likes to "spread the wealth" when it comes to manufacturing its hardware, and thus multiple OEMs for a single device is to be expected. Apple's other big partner, Foxconn, has been the subject of similar accusations in the past, including a New York Times expose.

In late July, CLW accused Apple manufacturing partner Pegatron of similar violations, also regarding iPhone 5C manufacture.

Apple responded to the Pegatron report with a statement on the steps the company had already taken to rein in its suppliers, as well as future steps it planned to take.

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