iPod Labor Fiasco Update: Apple Contractor Suing Reporters for Uncovering Oppressive Practices

Aug 29th, 2006 | By | Category: iPods & Portable Media Players

iPod cityFoxConn, an Apple supplier that became a thorn in Apple’s side when journalists revealed FoxConn’s oppressive labor practices, has sued the journalists over their report.

Apple recently admitted that FoxConn violated Apple’s Code of Conduct. Unacceptable conditions included dormitory style sleeping arrangements for workers where employees were stacked on bunks three high; employee wage schemes were overly complex, making dispute resolution difficult; “normal” 60-hour work weeks were exceeded 35% of the time and frequent 7-days work weeks.

A Chinese court has frozen the assets of the reporter and editor, who work for China Business News, pending a hearing filed by a subsidiary of Foxconn Technology Group. The newspaper’s management has said it stands by the accuracy of its report.The case prompted Apple to conduct a 10-week investigation into Chinese factories that make the iPods. The inquiry found that workers earned at least local minimum wage but found multiple violations of Apple’s Code of Conduct, including pay formulas that were “unnecessarily complex”, excessive overtime, and even humilating discipline.

Apple said it had found that more than a quarter of the employees worked more than was allowed by company policy, which limits work weeks to 60 hours and calls for workers to have at least one day off a week.

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