Non-profit watchdog China Labour Watch has raised concerns that a Chinese factory which supplies Apple, Dell and other electronics firms has been breaking health and safety rules and disregarding workers’ rights.
A report from the watchdog has claimed that workers at the Suqian technology manufacturing plant suffered long-term exposure to harmful chemicals, were insufficiently trained and were even made to pay for drinking water in their living quarters.
It also found that workers’ rights were largely undermine with them only receiving 20 minutes training and often having to work over 100 hours over time every month.
The watchdog claimed that staff were not given appropriate protective gear despite the presence of flammable aluminium-magnesium alloy dust in the air.
Apple has since confirmed it has dispatched investigators to the Catcher Technology plant, which employs around 20,000 workers, as a result of the report.
Dell also said it was working with the factory to address the concerns of China Labor Watch.
A factory spokesman told the BBC: “We are deeply concerned about the claims made by China Labor Watch, and we take the report very seriously.
“We are committed to following Apple’s supplier code of conduct and will investigate thoroughly.”
Components of the iPad and Macbook were produced at the site although the factory has also supplied brands such as Motorola, LG, Samsung, Sony and Dell previously. it is known for manufacturing the metal casings for smartphones, tablets and laptops.
Last week, China Labor watch accused a supplier of Lenovo and Samsung of employing children under the age of sixteen and withholding student workers’ wages.