Apple Responds to Sweatshop Allegations

Dennis Faas's picture

It looks like Nike isn't the only major American corporation facing charges of sweatshop labor.

Apple, creator of the massively popular iPod, recently responded to allegations that many of its workers are slaving through excessive hours for just dollars a week. The accusations have led to Apple's own investigation into the reportedly affected factories.

Most of Apple's iPods are made in China -- perhaps the world's new hot spot for cheap tech manufacturing. The country of some 1.3 billion people is also the major supplier of wares for department store giant Wal-Mart, and is steadily growing as an economic power as its labor costs remain far lower than its export income. (Source:

Last week, the British newspaper "Mail on Sunday" reported that many Chinese workers manufacturing the iPod were facing exhaustive shifts -- allegedly in excess of 15 hours a day -- for just $50 a month salary. In addition, the British publication accused Apple of employing children in its Chinese facilities. (Source:

Apple quickly denied the child labor allegations and launched its own investigation into the excessive shifts and bottom-rate pay. In a statement Thursday, Apple admitted that there were some "troubling issues" in investigating such plants, but generally found that Mail on Sunday was exaggerating its claims.

According to Apple, there was absolutely no evidence of child or forced labor, but that the pay structure accorded to employees was unnecessarily complex and difficult to understand, even for Apple's investigators.

Furthermore, Apple admitted that in some cases there were overcrowding issues in some of its facilities. The company has promised to rectify these problems, and pledges that it remains committed to following a strict code of conduct on human rights issues. (Source:

Apple is arguably one of the most cherished name in tech hardware. However, it remains to be seen what effect these recent allegations will have on a company and product adored the world over.

| Tags:
Rate this article: 
No votes yet