Apple’s back in the spotlight – and not in a good way.
The electronics giant is under fire yet again, after Richard Bilton from BBC’s Panorama carried out an undercover investigation at Pegatron factories in China, where the iPhone 6 is being manufactured, and allegedly uncovered that workers were falling asleep on 12-hour shifts. The programme also reported that workers were being denied requests for days off after working for 18 consecutive days.
Jeff Williams, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Operations, however, said in an e-mail to 5,000 UK staff members that he and CEO Tim Cook were “deeply offended by the suggestion that Apple would break a promise to the workers in our supply chain or mislead our customers in any way”.
Panorama also claims to have “found evidence that tin from illegal mines” might be entering Apple’s supply chain, and that children were discovered “digging tin ore out by hand in extremely dangerous conditions”, noting that miners can be buried alive.
Williams admitted that “Apple has publicly stated that tin from Indonesia ends up in our products and some of that tin likely comes from illegal mines", and assured that BBC’s allegations were being taken seriously.
Apple, meanwhile, is no stranger to controversy.
In 2010, 14 suicides occurred at Foxconn, Apple’s largest supplier, resulting in the installation of suicide nets to prevent workers from jumping to their deaths. However, at least 7 more suicides have since been reported, and most have been linked to low pay.
In January 2013, the Daily Mail reported workers were being underpaid at just £1.12 an hour, while the Financial Times reported that Foxconn was forcing workers to work beyond the legal 36-hour overtime limit.
Image source: Business Insider