[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
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.

Outsourced

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".


SEE ALSO
Nike and Apple join up for runs
24 May 06 |  Business
Apple rival 'tries to ban iPods'
16 May 06 |  Business
Apple giants do battle in court
29 Mar 06 |  Entertainment
Man sues over iPod 'hearing risk'
02 Feb 06 |  Technology
Apple enjoys ongoing iPod demand
18 Jan 06 |  Business
Snooping fears plague new iTunes
13 Jan 06 |  Technology

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific