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Thursday, 26 January 2012

Putting a human cost on the iPad

Foxconn employees run for safety after a fatal explosion last May.
(Credit: YouTube)
A day after Apple announced record profits, a new report provides a detailed look at the conditions that workers at its suppliers in China have had to endure.

The company, which reported $13 billion in profits yesterday, has been plagued by reports of long hours, unsafe working conditions, and physical punishment of employees in factories that make parts for its popular devices. Dozens have been injured and a handful killed in explosions and other accidents at the plants.

In a seven-month span last year, two explosions at iPad factories in China, including at the Chengdu facility, killed four and injured 77, according to The New York Times. In an exhaustive profile, Times reporters Charles Duhigg and David Barboza put a name and a face to the human price sometimes paid for those profits, spotlighting the final months of one of those workers who died that day in Chengdu.

It's unclear whether these allegedly unsafe working conditions have been thoroughly addressed. Apple previously adopted a code of conduct for suppliers, but the Cupertino computer maker did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNET this evening...

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