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Apple accused over ‘poor treatment of workers’ in supply chain

Apple has come under fire yet again over mismanagement of ethical practice in its supply chain.

BBC Panorama uncovered multiple instances of failure to ‘protect Chinese factory workers’ in a new report that sheds like on the California-based firm’s manufacturing process.

Undercover agents were placed in the factories to discern whether or not Apple was adhering to its own policy of ensuring a safe working environment for staff.

The report ‘found standards on workers’ hours, ID cards, dormitories, work meetings and juvenile workers were being breached’ at the Pegatron factory, a core Apple supplier.

Footage was captured of ‘exhausted’ workers falling asleep during 12-hour shifts, with many employees revealed to be working upwards of 60 hours a week.

One of the BBC’s own agents was made to work 18 days in a row, despite requesting to have a day off multiple times.

Another agent was made to work a 16-hour shift one day, stating: “Every time I got back to the dormitories, I wouldn’t want to move.”

“Even if I was hungry I wouldn’t want to get up to eat. I just wanted to lie down and rest. I was unable to sleep at night because of the stress.”

Related: Apple Pay UK release date hinted at by job posting

Apple declined an interview opportunity, but did provide a statement that contained the following: “We are aware of no other company doing as much as Apple to ensure fair and safe working conditions.”

“We work with suppliers to address shortfalls, and we see continuous and significant improvement, but we know our work is never done.”

Apple has been accused of poor treatment of workers in previous years, and claims it has made lots of progress in improving conditions at its supply chain factories, like Foxconn and Pegatron.

It is worth noting that many other major consumer electronics manufacturers also make use of these factories, and similar ones.

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