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Apple issues Report on iPod Manufacturing

Scott McNulty

Apple has released a report on the alleged abuses in the iPod factory that we reported a few weeks ago. Apple sent a team of investigators to the factory and question and spoke to a number of randomly picked workers. Here is what they concluded, in a nice billeted list:

  • No evidence of child or forced labor was found
  • Dormitories are offered to all workers (there are 200.000 workers in the complex though fewer than 15% of those work on iPods) free of charge, but living in them is optional (most works choose to live in the dorms)
  • Most of the dorms met with Apple's standards, however 3 recently converted dorms (they were factories before) did not, and the vendor has purchased land and is in the process of building replacements
  • All workers make at least the local minimum wage (which may seem low to us, but in the context it isn't overly low) with many employees making more. Apple did find that reporting hours and the pay structure were too complex. The vendor is redoing both processes.
  • No forced overtime was found, however, the Apple weekly limit of a 60 hour work week with one day off was exceeded 35% of the time with workers working more then 6 straight days 25% of the time. Apple believes this to be excessive and is working with the vendor to correct it.
I am very impressed with the way Apple is handling this. At the end of the report they point out that the firm of Verité has been hired to continue the monitoring of conditions at these factories. Good job, Apple, and here's hoping that some people's lives will improve just a little bit because of all this.

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