Have you ever wondered who makes your iPhones, iPods and iPads ? A recent investigation of Apple factories have shown us that workers producing Apple devices are working excessive hours in terrible conditions and are being paid very little to justify the risk they take to supply you with your beloved Apple Devices.
Last May, seven youthful Chinese workers who were employed by Apple took their own lives, therefore triggering an investigation into working conditions at the Foxconn factory in Shenzhen, southern China.
Several Chinese sociologists composed an open letter to the media demanding an end was put to the harsh and unfair work practises which are currently being carried out by Apple. They stated the current working model was where “fundamental human dignity is sacrificed for development”. Now one year after the suicides took place, a huge amount of attention has been attracted to the huge worker dormitories in Shenzhen by anti-suicide groups.
The investigation carried out by two NGOs has shown the public that many human beings are being exploited in drive to produce iPads and iPhones for western nations. In Shenzhen and Chengdu, the workforce knows that the conditions they work in may lead to trauma and tragedy. Apple made a statement regarding the tragedy of last May: “Apple is committed to ensuring the highest standards of social responsibility throughout our supply base. Apple requires suppliers to commit to our comprehensive supplier.”
Many more further statements were made by workers being employed by factories producing Apple devices; “Sometimes my roommates cry when they arrive in the dormitory after a long day. It’s difficult to adapt to this work and hard to be away from your family.” This statement was made by a 19 year old girl living at working in the factories which investigators concluded were violating the human rights of those working there.
In addition to working excessive and illegal hours in the factories within Southern China, the discipline measures carried out within the factories were brutal and humiliated those who stepped out of line from the strict rules enforced by the factory foremen. A young female worker had told the investigators of her and her co-workers long and tiring schedule, which defied the regulations stated in both Chinese and international law.
This schedule shows that a typical working day in Chengdu consists of waking up at early hours to catch the bus to work at 7.10 then attending a required assembly at 8.10am, however this is unpaid. Then all workers continue to fulfil their roles in the factory until the end of shift at 8.30pm, this includes shift breaks and overtimes. Night shifts are believed to be carried out in the same brutal manner. Even though this shift may seem very unfair to those working in the factory, shifts become even more intense during times where Apple products are in high demand.
To wrap it up what happens there it’s clearly a strange thing, but we hope that Apple will have enough seriousness in the future and solve this problem without further consequences.