Hundreds of workers at Apple’s supplier factory, Wuxi Green Point, are protesting for the second time in less than a week. At 7.00 pm today workers began blocking the entrance and roads around the factory, preventing workers and cars from entering. The factory’s security guards and the local police have arrived and are confronting workers. Workers are protesting Green Point’s failure to honor previously promised rewards, in addition to the factory’s recent actions in laying off workers and rearranging their work positions. A recent strike had occurred at the factory on October 11.
According to workers, the factory are laying off workers and rearranging workers’ positions as iPhone 8 sales are not performing well. Some workers at the Green Point factory have been reassigned to the Green Magnesium factory, where the salary and benefits are not as good. Both Green Point and Green Magnesium are factories in Wuxi province and are affiliated with Jabil, a major supplier of components for Apple’s products, with more than 40,000 workers.
Workers are also demanding that they receive a reward promised upon employment. Beginning in June, Jabil has been hiring large numbers of workers to manufacture Apple products. But the factories have had difficulty recruiting enough workers due to its poor labor conditions. Workers at Jabil earn 1890 RMB ($286 USD) per month, and the hourly wage is 11 RMB ($1.67 USD). Workers put in 11 hours a day and often have to stay late after work for an hour without pay. The living conditions are also generally worse than similar factories in the same industry.
In order to recruit more workers, Jabil worked with labor dispatch companies, which promised workers that if they work at the factory for more than 45 days they would receive a reward of between 4500-8000 RMB ($683 – $1214 USD) in addition to their wages.
However, as iPhone 8 sales have declined and Apple has decreased its orders to Jabil factories, workers’ overtime and wages have been affected as well. Workers at certain workshops are only working four days a week.
As a result, the labor dispatch companies involved are also unwilling to fulfill their previously promised reward for workers who have worked for more than 45 days. Currently, these companies are requesting workers, which includes those who have worked at the factory for around 45 days, to leave or be reassigned to another factory.
Neither the factory nor the labor dispatch companies has responded to workers’ demands yet.
On September 27, a worker who did not receive the promised reward of 4500 RMB after working for three months, tried to jump from a fourth floor window at one of the Jabil factories, according to a video obtained by China Labor Watch. Such incidents have happened more than once, workers say.
All the above information are based on workers’ accounts obtained by China Labor Watch.
CLW wrote a letter to Apple last week to confirm the rights violations currently occurring at the factory. However, they have yet to respond.