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Apple lists 2011 worker abuses

Jan. 14, 2012 at 11:42 AM   |   Comments

CUPERTINO, Calif., Jan. 14 (UPI) -- U.S. technology giant Apple said workforce abuses at facilities that makes its gadgets is widespread.

Apple sent inspectors to 229 plants that makes parts for or do final assembly of the iPhone, iPad, iPod and other popular devices. It found 62 percent of the work sites violated the company's guideline of a 60-hour work week maximum, The Washington Post reported Saturday.

Thirty-two percent of the facilities violated Apple's code for handling hazardous waste, while 13 percent were deemed irresponsible in managing protections for young workers. Five of the 229 facilities were found to be using underage workers, the Post said.

Apple has routinely released a list of violations, but this year increased its corporate transparency policy by releasing a list of suppliers and assembly plants that it hires. The list includes Intel, Samsung, Sony and many smaller companies. In total, 156 companies are on the list.

Apple products and their components are made in China, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan and elsewhere.

Apple said it was "committed to driving the highest standards of social responsibility throughout our supply base."

Apple was one of several electronics firms that contract a Chinese factory where as string of suicides brought international attention to the plight of harshly treated factory workers.

One critic of Apple's new list, Mike Daisey, said the report that lists suppliers is "heartening" but falls short of being useful. The list does not identify which supplier is guilty of which abuses, so "you still can't use this to hold anyone accountable," he said.

Topics: iPhone, iPad
© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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