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Apple Factory Conditions Harming Workers: Chinese Labour Watch

Reports have emerged that workers at the Catcher Technology Co Chinese manufacturing facility – where Apple iPhone casings are made – are standing for 10 hours a day and handling poisonous chemicals without proper safety equipment.

Chinese advocacy group Chinese Labour Watch (CLW) has released a report titled: Apple’s Failed CSR Audit: A Report on Catcher Technology polluting the environment and harming the health of workers.

Throughout the report many incidents are recorded about workers and what illnesses and injuries they sustained while working at Catcher Technology, including an incident last May where 90 people were sent to hospital and five into the ICU for toxic gas poisoning at the factory’s A6 workshop.

A number of workers spoke to Bloomberg News saying goggles and earplugs are scarce, a major issue when the factory machines are not only loud but spray tiny metallic particles or coolant. They also said ‘hundreds throng a workshop where the main door only opens 12 inches.’

Chinese workers sleeping. Source: Chinese Labour Watch.

Their dorms are dirty and many do not have showers or hot water and according to one worker some go without washing for days.

One worker told reporters: “My hands turned bloodless white after a day of work. I only tell good things to my family and keep the sufferings like this for myself.” The person makes just over US$2 an hour and works at the factory because her husband’s business was going through financial strife.
An Apple spokesperson got in touch with Bloomberg News saying, ‘The company has its own employees at Catcher facilities, but sent an additional team to audit the complex upon hearing of the CLW’s impending report. After interviewing 150 people, the Apple team found no evidence of violations of its standards. We know our work is never done and we investigate each and every allegation that’s made. We remain dedicated to doing all we can to protect the workers in our supply chain.’
Catcher also released a statement saying it investigated these claims and found no evidence to support the claim it breached the client’s code of conduct.

The factory is in the Chinese industrial city of Suqian, six hours from Shanghai.

This is not the first time Apple has been under fire for its treatment of factory workers where only last November the company admitted to using child labour to build its new iPhone X.

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