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Apple claims success in bid to clean up factory working conditions

06 Mar 2013

Apple has reported that its goal to bring supply chain workers workweek to less than 60 hours has reached a 99 percent compliance rate.

The figures are based on data collected in on working practices between December 2012 and January, this year. Apple reported that compliance rates with its working hours goal pushed past the 90 percent mark.

The firm claimed that during that time worker hours were kept below 50 hours a week.

Apple and its partners have been under fire from labour rights groups for the past several years, over working conditions in the factories that make many of its high profile goods, such as the iPhone and iPad.

Apple said its rules and regulations require supply chain employees to work no more than 60 hours a week. Current Chinese law, where many supply chain factories are located, requires employers to pay overtime to any employee who works longer than 40 hours a week.

The supply chain manufactures that work with Apple have repeatedly been in hot water over alleged worker right violations. Last October, Apple manufacturer Foxconn was accused of hiring underage employees.

According to Apple, the hiring of underage employees was the result of third-party hiring companies and not directly caused by its supply chain partners. Apple blamed third-party contractors for forging employee documentation to get minors hired.

Following Apple's discovery, the firms involved had their business licence revoked by the Chinese government.

Apple manufacturer Foxconn also implemented a hiring freeze at its factories in China last month. According to Reuters, the freeze was the result of a variety of workers coming back to factories following the Chinese New Year break.

However, some commentators attributed the freeze to a lack of demand for the iPhone 5. Others also pointed to the ongoing implementation of robotic workers at Foxconn factories as the reason behind the hiring stoppage.

In 2012, Apple and its supply chain partners began implementing standards of practice into the workforce in an effort to curb illegal labour practices. Last August, Apple said it was proud of the changes that were implemented over the year.

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James Dohnert

James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club,, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

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