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Wire | September 21, 2012

September 21, 2012

Maquila Solidarity Wire
Maquila Solidarity Wire

September 21, 2012 

Second retailer joins ground-breaking fire safety program

The German-based retailer Tchibo is the second major company to sign on to an agreement with international and Bangladeshi trade union and labour rights organizations (including MSN) to implement a fire and building safety program in Bangladeshi garment factories. Since 2006, more than 600 garment workers have died in Bangladesh due to unsafe workplaces. The agreement was first signed with PVH (owner of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger) in March. The program will get underway once two more major brands have signed on to the agreement.
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New iPhone, old abuses

New reports show that the iPhone 5 is being produced by employees who work far more hours than allowed by Chinese law, who are not paid for all the hours they work, who lack any true voice in the workplace to advocate for necessary reforms, and who include thousands of student “interns” who are being coerced to work at Apple supplier factories in China. Some of MSN’s allies have produced damning reports on labour practices at factories owned by Apple’s major supplier, Foxconn:
  • New research by Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM) at a facility producing the new iPhone found overtime hours two to three times higher than allowed by law, failure to pay the legal overtime rate, wages that don’t meet basic needs, no breaks, and a subcontracted workforce that receives fewer legal benefits than regular workers.
  • The Worker Rights Consortium and the Economic Policy Institute published a detailed overview of labour rights violations at Foxconn facilities.
  • A recent New York Times article profiles a China Labour Watch report confirming that student interns are coerced to work at Foxconn; they will not be allowed to graduate if they don’t produce the new iPhone.

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