While Apple is still putting in a lot of effort to improve working conditions at its suppliers, a key supplier for iPhone and MacBook casings is in trouble. Both China Labor Watch and Bloomberg report that Catcher has unfair work terms and makes workers endure harsh safety conditions at a factory in Suqian.
According to discussions with workers and observers, machines are incredible loud and spray fluid and metallic particles frequently that hit workers’ faces. Thus, workers have suffered health issues such as irritation, discoloration and vision problems. In addition to this, the facility reportedly pumps out wastewater that violates local safety regulations, and workers then return to their cold dorms that have no hot water or built-in showers.
CLW points out that work requirements do not follow local laws. Legally speaking, factory staff are supposed to work 40-hour weeks, but are working 10 hours a day for 6 days a week. This particular schedule allows Catcher to avoid paying double for overtime, as the law demands. Training apparently stops at 4 hours when it’s actually supposed to last 24 hours. Workers can’t even quit because it’s difficult. Contact workers also have to wait weeks to get their expected wages, and the contract company refuses to accept resignations, making it very difficult for workers to leave.
Apple and Catcher have said that they’ve investigated CLW’s claims, but have not found any evidence that suggests the company is violating working conditions or Apple’s code of conduct.