China Labor Watch and Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that Catcher, a key supplier for iPhone and MacBook casings, makes workers endure harsh safety conditions and unfair work terms in a factory in Suqian.
The machines to make the casings are not only too loud but spray fluid and metallic particles that frequently hit workers' faces.
For some reason, the firm thought a small number needed safety goggles and gloves.
"I asked for the earplugs many times, but they didn't have any. The loud noise of 'zah-zah' made my head ache and dizzy", one of those employees told Bloomberg.
Hundreds pack a workshop where the main door only opens about 12 inches. Off-duty, they return to debris-strewn dorms bereft of showers or hot water. Many go without washing for days at a time, workers told Bloomberg.
"My hands turned bloodless white after a day of work", said another.
While Apple saves a fortune by using cheap Chinese labour in making its cases, many of the workers earn just $2 an hour.
Not that Apple fanboys will care, of course. Many of them think that Chinese workers are lucky to work to create such a beautiful expensive product.
This is not the first time that Apple has been called out on its methods of making its shiny toys. There was a public outcry when it was revealed that its chief partner
Foxconn was losing staff due to suicides. Its main answer had been to install nets to catch workers who were chucking themselves off company buildings.
Apple forced Foxconn to hire psychological counsellors, set up a 24-hour care centre, and attached large nets to factory buildings to prevent impulsive suicides, according to a 2011 Apple progress report
Apple developed standards and started audits of the hundreds of companies that produce components for its devices, threatening to pull business from those who flout labour laws.
However, in this case, Apple said there is nothing to worry about. An Apple spokeswoman said the company has its employees at Catcher facilities but sent an additional team to audit the complex upon hearing of the CLW’s impending report. After interviewing 150 people, the Apple team found no evidence of violations of its standards, she added. Catcher, which gets almost two-thirds of sales from Apple, said in a separate statement it too investigated but also found nothing to suggest it had breached its client's code of conduct.
So that is alright then.