Apple Says 99% of Supply Chain Laborers Now Work Less Than 60 Hours a Week

Apple Says 99% of Supply Chain Laborers Now Work Less Than 60 Hours a Week

Apple reported its goal to bring supply chain workers’ workweek to less than 60 hours has reached a 99% compliance rate. The news comes following a recent hiring freeze at one of Apple’s largest supply chain partners. Apple and its partners have been bombarded with labor rights complaints for the past several years.

Results come from data collected in January. From late December to January, Apple reported that compliance rates pushed past the 90% mark. The iPhone creator said that during that time worker hours were kept below 50 hours a week.

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 manufacturers that work with Apple have repeatedly been in hot water over alleged worker’s rights 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 said nefarious third-party hiring firms were forging employee documentation to get minors hired.

Following Apple’s discovery, the hiring firms involved in the illegal actions had their business licenses 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 labor practices. Last August, Apple said it was proud of the changes that were implemented over the year.

Copyright (C) 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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