The Washington Post and Tech Transparency Project have published a report on the activities of one of Apple’s suppliers. It says that the Chinese company uses forced labor. According to The Information, the supplier also used child labor.
Former employees who worked with Apple’s suppliers said the company has a number of problems in its supply chain. Few manufacturers meet Apple’s quality and scope standards, and are ready to fill orders quickly. In this regard, those companies that still work with the corporation are doing everything to get its orders.
In 2013, Apple discovered that one of its suppliers, Suyin Electronics, the firm that made HDMI and USB ports for the MacBook line, had hired underage workers. The manufacturer promised to address the violation, but subsequent Apple investigation found three more minors, including one 14-year-old, on Suyin’s assembly lines. Although Apple refused to work with the enterprise on new contracts, cooperation on the existing ones lasted almost three years.
This is not the only example of infringement among suppliers. Apple has investigated Biel Crystal, a company that makes glass screens for the iPhone. The corporation found that health and safety was weak at all levels of government and called for more than two dozen corrective measures. However, a year later, the improvements have not been implemented. Apple continued to partner with Biel Crystal, in part because it would otherwise have only one screen supplier to dictate terms and prices.
Interestingly, the same second supplier of Lens Technology screens, as it turned out, uses forced labor of the Uyghurs (the indigenous people of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of the PRC).
Although Apple says it has cut ties with manufacturers many times in the past, the company’s reporting suggests otherwise, media noted. Since the release of the first iPhone in 2007, the company has terminated contracts with 22 suppliers. However, the corporation’s supply chain includes more than 2 thousand companies.
In December, the Taiwanese Wistron iPhone factory in Narasipur, India riots began. About 2 thousand employees staged pogroms on the territory of the factory. The reason was that many employees did not receive the full promised salary.
Apple has launched its own investigation against Wistron. The corporation has suspended cooperation with the company until the management has restored labor relations with its employees. Apple also demanded that Wistron restructure its HR and accounting teams.
A preliminary investigation revealed that Wistron was unable to implement proper time management processes, resulting in wage delays for some of the factory workers in October and November 2020.
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