Apple iPhone 6 is wildly successful around the world. It’s Apple’s most successful creation yet. This should be a peaceful, celebratory, non-controversial time right? Wrong! As the old Scarface song said, “You’ve reached the top but you still gotta learn to keep it.”
Despite this success, Apple is under fire from human rights and labor rights groups throughout Asia. Students out of Hong Kong and an?organization called Students Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM) accuse Lens Technology of exploiting their factory workers. Lens Technology is the company that manufactures Apple’s touchscreen glass. These organizations claim Lens Technology force employees to work overtime without compensation, withholding wages, and providing unsafe working conditions. These accusations come after a three month investigation at three factories. Lens Technology is also accused of making employees work a month without a day off and failing to pay social security. As the new iPhone 6 debuted in Japan and China (which has included Hong Kong since 1997) SACOM urged Apple to take immediate action to make this situation right. At one Hong Kong Apple Store, a handful of protesters carried pickets and giant phones saying, “Down with the bad apple”. Lens Technology denies any and all wrongdoings. They insist employees have at least one day off a week, overtime is optional and regulated, pays social security regularly, and regularly inspects factories to ensure clean and safe working conditions.
This definitely sounds like a case of one word against another’s. But have you looked at China‘s human, labor and environmental rights records lately? They’re among the worst in the world. So when accusations like this emerge, it makes it easier to believe them. It’s not just about one company in the hot seat. The whole corporate culture has to change if it wants this stigma gone. I don’t know whose right or wrong in this case. Who do you side with?