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Electronics Production | July 15, 2009

Apple audit finds poor factory conditions

"In addition to the core violations, our compliance monitoring program revealed violations in other areas", Apple's audit report states. The audit - carried out in factories in mainland China - showed that more than half of these weren't paying their workers properly last year.
The audit found that of the 83 facilities audited, Apple discovered seven facilities that had hired 15-year-old workers in areas where the minimum age for employment is 16. Across the seven facilities, a total of 25 workers were hired before reaching the legal age. At 23 facilities, Apple's auditors found that workers had been paid less than minimum wage for regular working hours. In some of these cases, the wages were based on incorrect pay formulas. For example, the minimum wage consisted of a base rate plus performance-related bonuses. Without the bonus payment, wages fell below minimum wage, which is a violation of Apple's Code. The auditors also found instances of pay calculations that resulted in underpayment of overtime wages at 45 facilities. Another common violation, found in 46 of the audits, was salary deductions used for disciplinary purposes. While the deductions discovered are often legal under local laws, the Apple Supplier Code of Conduct prohibits this practice. In each case, Apple required an end to these disciplinary fines, the report states. The full audit report can be found here.
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