Worker Exploitation Continues at Apple Supplier Plant Jabil Circuit


NEW YORK – A new investigation by China Labor Watch (CLW) has revealed that workers making iPhone 6 covers in China are made to labor up to 77 hours per week under high-pressure and unsafe working conditions to meet production demands. At a factory owned and operated by American manufacturer Jabil Circuit in Wuxi, China, even as workers accumulate up to 158 hours of overtime per month (four times in excess of the 36-hour legal limit), they are still unable to earn the average local wage.

CLW’s investigative report, “iExploitation: Apple Supplier Jabil Exploits Workers to Meet iPhone 6 Demands”, details numerous labor violations at Jabil Wuxi, including hiring discrimination aimed at pregnant women and ethnic minorities, hiring fees, a lack of safety training, falsified training documents, unsanitary environment and unsafe working conditions (including production in a building still under construction), excessive mandatory overtime hours, high-pressure labor with shortened break periods, poor living conditions, and dependence on tremendous overtime hours to earn a living wage.

This marks the second time in a year that CLW has investigated Jabil Wuxi while it produced iPhone covers. Critically, comparing findings from the 2013 report and 2014 report, little has changed. In fact, some violations are new or worse than those uncovered in 2013. Jabil workers are made to perform even more overtime (up to 158 hours), working in buildings that are still under construction, ceiling slabs falling down around the production line, and they are not permitted to talk or even look up from their work. The chart below compares findings between 2013-14.

Two weeks ago, CLW and Green America published investigative findings on an Apple supplier called Catcher Electronics in Jiangsu Province, which also produces iPhone 6 parts. That report made clear that despite CLW informing Apple of myriad labor abuses in 2013, nothing changed at the plant a year later.

CLW’s Jabil investigation has shown yet again that over a year’s time, there has been practically no improvement in the conditions of workers at an Apple supplier factory and a complete lack of implementation of Apple’s promised labor conditions—not to mention Chinese labor laws. All commitments seem to be particularly irrelevant to Apple and its suppliers when Apple is releasing new products.

With such findings, we must question the credibility of Apple’s code of conduct and its public promises with regards to labor standards. Apple is continually improving its products, but the labor conditions of workers making those products have failed to see any improvement.

The full English report.

About China Labor Watch:

Founded in 2000, China Labor Watch is an independent not-for-profit organization. For more than a decade, CLW has collaborated with labor organizations and the media to conduct in-depth assessments of factories in China that produce toys, bikes, shoes, furniture, clothing, and electronics for some of the world’s largest brand companies. CLW’s New York office creates reports from these investigations, educates the international community on supply chain labor issues, and pressures corporations to improve conditions for workers.


(For English)

Kevin Slaten
Program Coordinator, China Labor Watch
Phone: +001 212-244-4049
147 W 35 St Ste 406
New York, NY 10001

(For Chinese)

Li Qiang
Executive Director, China Labor Watch
Phone: +001 212-244-4049

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