Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has moved to avert perception that workers working to develop its products are usually mistreated in terms of pay by ordering suppliers to incur the fees for hiring new staff. The Cupertino-based company is now requiring factories to pay recruitment fees instead of passing the same to the workers.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s massive product line at times requires suppliers to source for new workers once a new iPhone or iPad has been introduced especially in instances of high demand in the market. Most of the employees are usually sourced from foreign countries where they are usually charged fees in exchange for the job, which is alleged to at times be more than one month’s pay.
Apple on discovering that fees charged was more than the one month’s pay ordered the suppliers to repay back. The suppliers were forced to pay up to $3.96 million to more than 4,500 foreign contractors. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) had initially affirmed commitment to prohibit any worker from incurring such an expense in a practice commonly referred to as bonded labor.
The giant hardware maker maintains that the fees need to be incurred by the suppliers since it usually bears it when paying up for any products delivered. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) among other companies were forced to shift their manufacturing overseas especially in Asia where costs are low, but has been marred by criticism for failing to ensure workers are paid well for any services rendered.
Advocate groups in China have been critical of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Suppliers over allegations that workers are usually forced to work overtime to meet production demands while operating in unsafe environments. Apple limits work weeks in the factories to 60 hours. In 2013, some workers working on an iPhone camera component were abandoned in a plant for more than a month after the factory was shut down.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has also stated that it is trying to curtail the use of minerals from mines in conflict areas such as the Democratic Republic of Congo having more than doubled the number of verified conflict-free smelters.