Apple investigates tabloid claim

Ashley Milne-Tyte Aug 18, 2006

TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: Apple Computer makes some of its iPods in China, but how that work gets done is under some dispute. A British tabloid said people at one plant worked 15-hours shifts and got paid as little as $50 a month. So, Apple sent a team to China to check out things out. Ashley Milne-Tyte reports.


ASHLEY MILNE-TYTE: Apple says its team of investigators found workers were sometimes exceeding the maximum 60-hour week Apple allows, but the report found no evidence of forced overtime or inadequate wages.

The company says it’s ordering that overtime limits be enforced.

Prakash Sethi is president of the international center for corporate accountability. He doesn’t but isn’t sure the iPod manufacturer can mandate from afar.

PRAKASH SETHI: “I don’t believe for one minute that Apple can maintain 60 hours a week, a work week. All my experience in China tells me that this is the most vexing problem.”

Vexing because workers have to work more than that to make enough money. He says in many factories it’s not a question of being forced; workers volunteer for longer shifts.

In New York, I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.

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