Apple Working To Reduce "Excessive Overtime" And Other Labor Violations At Chinese Factories

A 2013 audit of working conditions at Quanta Computers, a Chinese supplier of Apple products, pointed out various working violations at two factories in China, including excessive overtime and unpaid sick days, among others. Apple has been working with Quanta to address those violations, and to its credit, the Cupertino outfit has made strides in how things are done overseas.

"Excessive overtime is not in anyone's best interest, and we will continue to work closely with Quanta and our other suppliers to prevent," Apple said in a statement. "This year, through the end of July, Quanta has average 86 percent compliance with our 60-hour workweek."

Bad Apple
Image Source: Flickr (Annette Bernhardt)

Apple and its suppliers have been in the spotlight since around 2010 when reports kept surfacing of worker suicides at Foxconn, Apple's largest manufacturer of iPhones and other gadgets. It was an eye opener, and it prompted Apple to become the first technology company to join the Fair Labor Association (FLA).

OpenView Service conducted the 2013 audit referenced above. The organization assessed two factories, one in Shanghai and one in Changshu, spending up to five days at each one. It found several violations of FLA's code of conduct, including local requirements for indoor air quality testing, of which both factories failed. And during busy times of the year, the factories regularly went over the legal limits on working hours.

Apple also conducts audits of its own, and in the past year, it said it "worked closely with Quanta to drive meaningful improvements in areas identified by both the FLA and Apple."