Child labor, poisonings and suicides in series: Apple under fire

The famous Apple logo Apple company could well prove to be a poisoned fruit for working people who toil to produce goods at a discount Apple then sells at a high price. Child labor, suicides in series, starvation wages, miserable working conditions, industrial accidents and stocking workers, it seems that Steve Jobs, guru-president of the company, has built his fortune on the blood and sweat of workers.

The company, whose market value has recently surpass that of Microsoft (which also is accused of use sweatshops), admitted using child labor to produce its computers, its digital walkman iPods and phones cellullaires. At least eleven children were found working in three factories supplying Apple, while many criticism comes on the company, who is accused outsource its operations in factories where working conditions are miserable, the starving wages and frequent abuse.

In January 2010, Apple had been splashed in an industrial poisoning story, while dozens of workers had been poisoned by n-hexane, a gas that attacks the muscles and vision. Wintek Corp. among workers had then triggered a strike to protest against the lack of regulations protecting workers' health, some died from poisoning.

More recently, a wave of suicides at Foxconn, a leading supplier of Apple, highlighted the pitiful working conditions of workers producing for Apple. China Labour Watch qualified management Foxconn “inhuman and activist”, and accused the company of neglecting the most basic human rights.

Other sources show the situation at Foxconn, where working conditions are inhumane, untenable rates, the long working hours, the strict discipline and social support to nonexistent workers, not to mention the miserable wages.

A recent study showed that only 65% Apple subcontractors in China meet the Chinese minimum wage, already very low, and less than half the rules of the company proscribing working weeks over 60 hours. This threshold itself is under Chinese minimum standard, which sets 49 hours maximum working week.

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