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Apple supplier tagged with another round of labor violations

Chris Velazco, @chrisvelazco
September 5, 2014
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Apple's gearing up for a very big day next week, but it to the people inside it must seem like this one will never end. First the company was implicated in perhaps the biggest celebrity leak of all time, and now it's getting wrapped up in another round of alleged labor violations thanks to one of its China-based suppliers. A report released by China Labor Watch and the environmental watchdogs at Green America maintains that some workers at a Catcher Technology factory in Suqian that produces aluminum cases for Apple products were found putting in crazy overtime hours (up to 100 hours a month in some cases) and used toxic chemicals without being safety trained.

All told, the report lists 22 labor violations ranging from sealed fire doors to dumping industrial chemicals into the sewer. The unfortunate kicker? China Labor Watch performed the same sort of investigation over a year ago -- they found that the labor violations originally spotted at the Catcher factory had either persisted or gotten worse over time. To hear the two nonprofits tell the tale, these findings were culled from some 100 interviews with Catcher employees, along with the first-hand documentation from a special investigator -- a worker who joined Catcher to see what was going on inside. Apple hasn't stayed quiet on the matter, though: the company has planned a follow-up visit to the Catcher factory next month and reaffirmed its commitment to "safe and fair" working conditions for the employees powering its supply chain.

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