updated 02:33 pm EDT, Thu September 5, 2013
Jabil promises its own audit
Apple already has a "team of experts" on-site at Jabil Circuit's Wuxi factory to investigate reported labor abuses, according to a statement by spokeswoman Kirstin Huguet. Huguet notes that Apple has "conducted 14 comprehensive audits at Jabil facilities since 2008, including three audits of Jabil Wuxi in the past 36 months," and insists that Jabil "has a proactive auditing program of their own and they have an excellent track record of meeting Apple's high standards."
Continuing, the Huguet claims that "year to date, Jabil Wuxi has performed above our 92% average for compliance with Apple's 60-hour per week limit," even if an audit completed earlier this year "did find that some employees had worked more than six consecutive days without a day of rest." Jabil has allegedly been working with Apple to "better manage overtime."
A spokeswoman for Jabil itself says that the company has an audit team "en route to Wuxi to thoroughly investigate these claims." She adds that the supplier "conducts more than 100 annual audits of its operations," and that some (but not all) of the problems mentioned in the China Labor Watch report were discovered in an August audit, prompting immediate "corrective action" in those cases.
Among other abuses, Jabil is accused of forcing workers to put in over 100 hours of mandatory overtime per month, while also denying them millions in overtime pay. The supplier's statement avoids acknowledging or denying that issue, but claims that Jabil has dealt with problems like 10-minute unpaid meetings, and implemented policies like a ban on pregnancy testing or hiring people under 18.