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© pavelgr-dreamstime.com Electronics Production | February 14, 2014

Apple ends excessive work hours – but misses Chinese law

Work weeks exceeding 60 hours have been a persistent problem for the electronics industry, something that a number of NGO's have stated. In its latest supplier responsibility report, Apple says that reducing excessive overtime still remains a priority.

“We limit work weeks to 60 hours except in unusual circumstances. And all overtime must be absolutely voluntary. To help protect the people who make our products from working excessive hours, we track work hours weekly for over one million people in our supply chain — a program we started in 2011,” Apple states in its report. However, China Labor Watch, SACOM and The Fair Labor Association, have all stated that Apple suppliers have a hard time following this, especially following the Chinese legal limit of 36 hours of overtime per month. Furthermore, Apple’s 60-hour work week rule is a direct violation of China’s 49-hour statutory limit. Apple's suppliers averaged 95 percent compliance with the 60-hour work week in 2013, which is a 3 percent increase from 2012. Apple states that: “The average hours worked per week was under 50 for all employees. In 2013, we also tracked employees working at least 40 hours, and found they worked an average of 54 hours per week. Over 97 percent of all work weeks met our requirement of at least one day of rest every seven days.”
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November 21 2019 10:53 am V14.7.14-2