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Demand for Apple’s Products Lead to Violations of Minimum Wage and Overtime Pay in China

above-the-bar-logo-no12Our New York Overtime Pay Lawyers have been closely following an investigation into the factories producing Apple products in China has revealed that Chinese workers at two factories in China are being treating “inhumanely” and “like machines.” Foxconn owns two factories in China, one in Shenzhen and one in Chengdu, and employs about 500,000 Chinese workers who produce millions of Apple products every year. In fact, two NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) uncovered the labor abuses which included workers committing suicide last summer.

Foxconn, part of Hon Hai Precision Industries, not only produces the iPhone, iPad and MacBooks for Apple. It also produces other electronic goods for companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Microsoft, Sony, and Samsung.

The two NGOs, the Center of Research on Multinational Corporations and Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior, who uncovered the abuse, reported several complaints from workers. Some of the allegations were as follows: workers were routinely working excessive overtime even though the legally allowed limit of overtime is 36 hours a month; workers were being pressured to take only 1 day off in 13 days in order to meet the demand for the first iPad; in factories not performing well, workers were humiliated publicly; and, unbelievably, workers were asked to sign a statement promising that they would not commit suicide.

Since the reports came out about the Chinese workers committing suicide and how little they were paid, Foxconn has since raised the workers’ wages. Apple also began training workers and supervisors about their rights, labor laws and safety measures.

Although we have labor laws involving minimum wage and overtime pay as well as protections against unfair and abusive labor practices, unfair and abusive labor practices exist throughout the world. It is fair to say that worldwide demand, including our own demand for Apple products has influenced and contributed to this abusive treatment of workers in China making Apple products. If you or anyone you care about is suffering from abusive working conditions or not being paid their minimum wages or overtime, call our Wage & Hour Attorneys at Villanueva & Sanchala at (800) 893-9645 to help you recover your rightful wages and overtime pay.

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