Making iPhones is a risky business as workers at its Chinese supplier’s manufacturing facility found out.
137 factory workers at its China based suppliers of the device have been seriously injured from a chemical used in making the glass screen which go into the device, called n-hexane.
Apple, which reported the “core violation” of safety at the suppliers, Wintek, claimed in its report of suppliers’ factory conditions, that it had ordered the contractor to stop using the chemical and to improve safety conditions.
However, workers there say no such action has been taken and have been offered cash sums by Taiwanese Wintek to resign and make the problem go away.
However, Wintek have denied this vehemently and said they would help workers with their medical bills.
One factory worker, Jia Jingchuan, 27 suffered severe nerve damage from the dangerous chemical and made him oversensitive to cold, forcing him to wear insulated clothing even indoors.
“We hope Apple will heed its corporate social responsibility,” he said.
However, this is not the first time employee conditions for an Apple supplier has come under scrutiny.
91 children were found to be making Apple products last year in plants and only one third of all suppliers’ employees were found to have complied with working hours, which suggest overworking is rife.
A spokeswoman at the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, Kristin Huguet, declined to discuss the Wintek case but said the company was committed to the highest standards of social responsibility in its supply chain, according to a Silicon Valley report.
Last year another Taiwanese company, Foxconn, which makes devices for brands Apple, Dell and Sony were forced to erect suicide nets as a slew of factory workers in its Southern China facility were killing themselves – jumping off factory buildings.
Poor conditions, low pay and military style management were said to have been the order of the day at Foxconn, one of the biggest makers of IT equipment in the world.