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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 June 2006, 12:22 GMT 13:22 UK
iPod 'slave' claims investigated
Apple's iPod music player
Designed in California. Made in China.
Apple is investigating a newspaper report that staff in some of its Chinese iPod factories work long hours for low pay and in "slave" conditions.

The article in the Mail on Sunday alleged that workers received as little as 27 a month, doing 15-hour shifts making the iconic mp3 player.

Employees at the factory lived in dormitories housing 100 people and outsiders were banned, the paper said.

Apple said it did not tolerate its supplier code of conduct being broken.


In a statement the firm said: "Apple is committed to ensuring that working conditions in our supply chain are safe, workers are treated with respect and dignity, and manufacturing processes are environmentally responsible."

The company added it was "currently investigating the allegations regarding working conditions in the iPod manufacturing plant in China".

The report said that at a different factory, in Suzhou near Shanghai, which makes the iPod shuffle, workers were paid 54 per month - but that half of that went on accommodation and food within the factory complex.

According to the Mail on Sunday, women rather than men were employed on the production line.

Apple is one of thousands of companies that has outsourced manufacturing to China where labour costs are low.

IPods carry the text: "Designed in California, Made in China".

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