Mr. Tim Cook, CEO Apple
One Apple Park Way
Cupertino, CA 95014
July 31, 2018
Dear Mr. Tim Cook:
In 2013, China Labor Watch launched its first investigation into Jabil Green Point, bringing to light the numerous labor rights violations and other unethical practices occurring at the factory. Since then, China Labor Watch has conducted two more follow up investigations, one in 2014 and another in 2017, to see if working conditions have improved in any way. While there have been some gradual improvements over the past four years, many of the initial rights violations that were discovered at Green Point were found to still be ongoing.
Of those violations found in our investigations, the issue of student workers not receiving their owed wages has been a persistent problem over the past two years. Apple provided the student workers with Green Point’s contact information but contacting the number produced limited results, as there are still workers who have not received their full compensation. Given how much time has passed, the possibility of these students receiving their owed wages becomes increasingly miniscule.
However, as we have already contacted Apple multiple times regarding this issue, we will not detail it further in this letter. Instead, we would like to bring attention to the following violations discovered in our 2017 investigation, with the hope Apple will take much needed steps to address these long-standing problems:
Low wages and exhausting work shifts
Workers earn an average monthly wage of 3,600 RMB, which is made up by a base wage of 1,890 RMB, overtime wages as well as other bonuses. Despite an increase from the 2014 base wage of 1,700 RMB, the average monthly wage remains less than Wuxi City’s average monthly wage in 2017: workers employed by non-private entities earned 7,084.75 RMB a month and workers employed by private entities earned 4,090.50 RMB a month.
While average monthly overtime has decreased from the 158 hours in 2014 to 84 hours, the monthly overtime hours still exceed the legally stipulated 36 hours.
Workers have no breaks outside of mealtimes during their 12-hour shifts.
Workers have limited rest time on work days. As worker dormitories are located off factory grounds, workers have to commute via factory shuttles to and from work, leaving them with only 9 to 10 hours of rest each day.
Night shift and day shift workers live together, disrupting each other’s sleep when getting ready for their respective shift.
There is a heavy use of dispatch workers beyond statutory limits.
Insufficient pre-job training, personal protective equipment and social insurance
Workers are not given time to understand the documents they sign and no one explains the labor contract to them.
Workers are uninformed of the grievance channels available to them.
In 2017, regular workers purportedly paid 10.5% of their monthly wages to social insurance. However, interviewed workers said social insurance fees are deducted from paychecks but they were not actually registered for social insurance.
Workers in the CNC workshop are not provided with sufficient personal protective equipment, as they are exposed to excess amounts of oil, which stains their clothes and hair.
Unfair treatment by factory management
Factory management treats workers harshly and arbitrarily gives severe punishments for minor errors such as returning from the bathroom one minute late or even firing workers without reason.
Workers who live in the dormitories reported being charged random amounts for their water and electricity bills.
Positions have an age requirement of 18 to 45 years old.
Applying for sick leave requires the worker to fill out and provide many forms as well as visit a certain type of hospital in order to receive permission for sick leave. However, workers have also reported even if the correct procedure is followed, their sick leave was recorded as a regular absence, which negatively impacts their wages.
Many of the above violations were originally pointed out by CLW in 2013 and yet, in the past four years, only minor improvements have been made to the working conditions at Green Point. We hope that Apple will be able to ensure the issues we have raised receive a formal resolution and we will continue to monitor the situation at Green Point.
Thank you very much and we look forward to hearing from you.
Executive Director, China Labor Watch