Tagged With labour

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The internet keeps a close eye on what companies like Apple, Samsung and Sony import out of Southeast Asia, since those components hint at products coming down the pipeline. The US Department of Labor keeps a close watch too, but for a very different reason: uncovering "modern-day slavery" by the factories that make electronics.

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Apple has released its seventh annual supplier audit, and it reveals that one of its suppliers was found to have violated its underage labour policy 74 times. Unsurprisingly, Apple was clear about the consequences of such a problems and has completely severed ties with the manufacturer.

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So many things are made in China: DVD players, handbags, adorable shoes, kitchen gadgets, watches, t-shirts, laptops and more. Some of them are made in happy, shiny factories. Some are born out of deplorable labour conditions that ruin and cost lives. We usually don't know which is which.

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The Wall Street Journal reports that working conditions are getting better at the embattled Foxconn manufacturing facility where 150,000 Chinese workers assemble iPhones and iPads for the rest of the world. According to the report, wages have risen by 16 per cent, and the probation period before entry-level workers become permanent has been reduced from six months to three months.