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Key Apple supplier has not paid promised bonuses

by on20 October 2017

Furious workers picket

Hundreds of workers blocked the entrance to an Apple iPhone supplier's factory in eastern China to protest against unpaid bonuses and factory reassignments.

Jabil, which runs the Green Point factory in Wuxi city denies that it was a mass protest as only 20 to 40 employees were actually protesting and the rest were night shift workers trying to enter the factory.

However, according to one worker, more than 600 workers were protesting for failing to get their bonus.

Many had been promised a bonus of up to $1,056 if they stayed for 45 days when they signed up for the job through a labour broker. However no one received the bonus after three months.

Apple has told China Labor Watch that it was also launching an investigation and pledged to ensure that workers got fair compensation.

"We are requiring Jabil to send a comprehensive employee survey to ascertain where gaps exist in payment and they must create an action plan that ensures all employees are paid for the promised bonus immediately", Apple said in the email.

Jabil insisted "committed to ensuring every employee is paid fairly and on time" although to be fair that is not the same thing as saying “every employee is paid fairly and on time.

The Tame Apple Press has been saying that the case highlights the complexity of overseeing global supply chains that can involve hundreds of manufacturers and subcontractors. Others might say that it is more to do with operating in a country which does not have the same aggressive labour laws as the US.

Tensions had been running high at Jabil's Green Point factory – a worker was down from the edge of a rooftop in late September. There were allegations that a security guard hit a worker with a wooden stick so hard the stick broke.

Apple in its email to China Labor Watch said both incidents had to do with disputes with security guards, not underpayment, and added that it was working with Jabil "to make sure their security guards are properly trained to avoid and de-escalate situations".

Last modified on 20 October 2017
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