updated 10:03 am EDT, Thu September 5, 2013
Workers pressured into massive amounts of overtime with little rest
A supplier claimed to be helping Apple with the iPhone 5C has been accused of numerous labor rights violations. China Labor Watch says that Jabil Circuit has been forcing workers into over 100 hours of monthly mandatory overtime, yet also holding back millions of dollars in overtime pay. The company is also reportedly forcing people to stand for 11 hours a day without rest, outside of 30-minute meal breaks, and engaging in practices like discriminatory hiring and inadequate pre-work training.
Apple is still attempting to clean up its image in terms of supplier conduct. Although media and activist pressure has forced Apple to deal with similar abuses at Foxconn, some issues remain there, and just this July another major supplier -- Pegatron -- was accused of violating work, safety, and pollution laws.
The iPhone 5C is expected to debut at a special press event next Tuesday, and ship on or around the 20th. The device is, coincidentally, thought to have been designed with China in mind, using lower specs and a plastic back to reduce its pricetag. Many Chinese are unable to afford the cost of a state-of-the-art iPhone.