Apple have launched an investigation after British newspaper The Mail on Sunday claimed that some of its Chinese iPod factories force employees to work long hours in squalid conditions.
Steve Jobs' now prestigious brand has said it will not tolerate its supplier code-of-conduct being broken, and vowed to fully investigate the claims. The Mail's article accused the factories of enforcing 15-hour shifts and paying as little as Â£27 (around US$50) per month.
The worst factories alledgedly house and employ 100 people per dormitory and ban outsiders. Another, said to specialise in production of the iPod Shuffle pays only Â£54 (around US$100) per month with half of that earned spent on accomodation and food within the complex.
A brief glance at Apple's own supplier code-of-conduct reveals that the company are indeed very concerned about the rights of their labourers, but is this enough? Apple say 60 hours of work per-week is the maximum expected, yet this still adds up to 10-a-day based on the allowed 6 day working week.
Despite human rights and health and safety precautions the document does not specify a minimum wage for the workers.
Apple have reacted to the claims, and are investigating but surely it is entirely down to Apple to ensure that the measures they put in place are not breached in the first place. Until the investigation is complete, it is still unknown whether the paper's claims were true or not.