According to a report by Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM), a factory in Huizhou, Guangdong that makes the display screens for the Apple iPhone has been found to make its employees work in horrible conditions.
The 43-page report found that the Biel Crystal factory in Huizhou was in serious violation of China’s labour laws. Workers are made to sign an unfair agreement which says they agree to “voluntary” overtime work. If they don’t sign it then they don’t get hired. They are also forced to work up to 140 hours of overtime each month. This is illegal because China’s labour law says that overtime should be limited to 36 hours a month.
Their workplace doesn’t seem to be a very safe place either, as the report says that nearly 30 workers are injured every month. Workers are forced to sign an agreement that say they give up the right to injury assessments in hospital, and the report also says that there have been at least three in-plant suicide in the last two years.
The SACOM Project Officer Michael Ma Ho-yin told Young Post that it’s unacceptable.
“The workers are being physically and mentally abused by the Biel Crystal factory. The company disregards labour laws, and most of their workers don’t get labour protection or welfare.”
SACOM staged a protest outside the Apple retail store in Tsim Sha Tsui last Thursday because they want to force Apple to apply their Code of Conduct on its suppliers. They are also calling for Biel Crystal to follow China’s labour laws and provide the workers shorter working hours and give them a better working environment.
Other suppliers for Apple have also been criticised for their bad working conditions. In 2010, at least 13 Foxconn workers in the mainland killed themselves. Foxconn Technology Group make Apple iPhones and iPads. It’s believed that the suicides were related to the bad working conditions that the people suffered. Like the Biel Crystal factory, local media found that Foxconn workers were also forced to sign unfair contracts.
Apple has not replied to a Young Post request for comment.