An undercover investigation by the BBC into Apple’s supply chain in China has revealed disturbing details about the conditions in its factories and the sources from which the company obtains its tin, a major component of electronic devices. Filming on an iPhone 6 production line showed Apple’s promises to protect workers were routinely broken. It found standards on workers’ hours, ID cards, dormitories, work meetings and juvenile workers were being breached at the Pegatron factories Apple uses outside of Shanghai. The poor conditions in Chinese factories were highlighted in 2010 when 14 workers killed themselves at Apple’s biggest supplier, Foxconn. Following the suicides, Apple published a set of standards spelling out how factory workers should be treated.
BBC reporters followed the trail to Indonesia, where they found evidence that tin from illegal mines could be entering Apple’s supply chain, despite their supposed commitment to ethical sourcing. It found children digging tin ore out by hand in extremely dangerous conditions – miners can be buried alive when the walls of sand or mud collapse.
Read the full story from the BBC here.
Read poetry written by an Apple factory worker who committed suicide in 2013 here.