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If you buy Apple products, you may want to see this undercover video exposing inhumane slave labor in China: $1.85 per hour with 72-hour work weeks

Apple products

(NaturalNews) Have you ever stopped to think about how that shiny new iPhone made its way into your hands? Many people imagine an immaculate and modern factory where high-tech robots put together these sleek devices, but an undercover video shows just how far from reality this image actually is.

The truth is that the conditions in the factories where Apple's products are built are quite inhumane and have been for some time. These workers are subjected to very demanding schedules that consist of illegal amounts of overtime. In China, any work performed beyond 40 hours a week is considered overtime, and it is against the law for laborers to work beyond 36 hours of overtime per month, according to nonprofit labor rights advocate China Labor Watch. Furthermore, as many as 12 of these workers are housed in a single cramped dormitory room – and they endure all of this physical and mental hardship to take home a whopping $1.85 per hour.

While these factory workers earn wages that amount to around $1.85 per hour, Apple earns more than $18 billion a year on their work. In fact, China Labor Watch estimated that the wages for these 1.6 million workers in the supply chain amount to $3.4 billion, which is just 2.6 percent of Apple's total revenue in 2015. According to their calculations, it would only cost the firm $1.9 billion per quarter to boost the working conditions for these people dramatically, which is just a small fraction of profits.

Video shows conditions that Apple claims don't exist

The firm claims to have eliminated unsafe working conditions and worker exploitation in its supply chain, but workers are still being overworked and highly underpaid in the Chinese factories owned by suppliers Pegatron and Foxconn.

China Labor Watch analyzed more than 1,200 pay stubs issued to workers at the Pegatron factory in Shanghai. They discovered that more than 70 percent of workers exceeded 60 hours per week of work, with some of them racking up as many as 72 hours of work in a single week! This flies in the face of public claims by Apple that its laborers do not work more than 60 hours a week.

On top of that, they are often forced to stay late and come in early for meetings, and this time is unpaid.

The report said, "Before overtime pay, workers making the iPhone earn only the local minimum wage of $318 per month, or about $1.85 per hour. This is not a living wage. Even if the factory did not mandate overtime as it does, workers would still depend on their 60-hour workweeks to get by."

Conditions so bad that workers would rather die than continue

Workers are not happy about the conditions, but most of them need the money so badly that they cannot afford to try to fight for better conditions. In 2010, 18 Foxconn workers jumped off the roof in a suicide bid to protest their working conditions; 14 of them died. Two years later, 150 workers planned to follow suit but were coaxed down. Rather than improve labor conditions, the company merely installed safety nets around their buildings to prevent future suicide attempts from further damaging their reputation.

Apple does not have a great record when it comes to the environment, either. According to a 2011 Natural News article, Apple was identified in a report by Chinese environmental groups as that country's worst multinational polluter. The author of the report in question also pointed out that Apple did not show much concern about its ranking. The report also mentioned how 49 Chinese Apple workers were poisoned by the toxic cleaning chemical n-hexane and left with debilitating illnesses; Apple did not respond to inquiries from the victims in that case, although they did stop using the cleaning agent in question.

A BBC Panorama investigation last year uncovered horrific treatment for workers in Apple factories and found a number of breaches. Their video showed workers falling asleep while on shift. One worker reported being forced to work for 18 days in a row despite making repeated requests to get a day off.

The BBC also reported inhumane conditions further down the supply chain in Bangka, Indonesia. Although Apple claims that its minerals are ethically sourced, the BBC investigation found children as young as 12 digging out tin ore by hand under very dangerous conditions where they were at risk of being buried alive.

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