© Apple Electronics Production | February 24, 2010

Apple audit still finds violations across supply chain

In 2009, Apple conducted audits in 102 supplier facilities and identified 17 core violations. At 60 facilities, workers exceeded weekly work-hour limits more than 50% of the time, other suppliers conducted pregnancy tests.
The computer-giant found 17 core violations during last year’s supplier audits: 8 involving excessive recruitment fees; 3 cases where underage workers had been hired; 3 cases where the supplier contracted with noncertified vendors for hazardous waste disposal and 3 cases of falsified records provided during the audit.

As a result, Apple required each supplier to reimburse any fees that exceeded recruitment fee limits and foreign workers have been reimbursed $2.2 million in recruitment fee overcharges over the past two years. One supplier again presented the auditor with falsified records (a violation already revealed during the 2008 audit). Based on the repeat core violation and inadequate actions, Apple is terminating all business with this facility.

Other findings are:
- at 60 facilities, workers had exceeded weekly work-hour limits more than 50% of the time

- at 65 facilities, workers had worked more than six consecutive days at least once per month

- at 48 facilities, overtime wages had been calculated improperly, resulting in underpayment of overtime wages

- at 24 facilities, workers had been paid less than minimum wage for regular working hours

- at 45 facilities, wage deductions were used for disciplinary purposes

- at 52 facilities; the audit found the practice of screening job candidates or current workers for hepatitis B

- at 20 facilities, pregnancy tests were conducted

- at 49 facilities, workers were not wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) – “In some instances, the facility had not provided the appropriate safety equipment, while in others, the workers neglected to use the provided equipment or were using it improperly”, the report states.
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