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Bonded Labour in China

Bonded labour was discovered at eight factories. In order to find work, some foreign labourers pay fees to a string of recruitment agencies and sub-agencies, amassing huge debts. Their wages are then automatically handed over to pay the debts, tying them to jobs until the balance has been paid off.

Apple ordered its suppliers to reimburse excessive recruitment fees – anything higher than one month's wages – and said $6.4m (£4m) was handed back to contract workers in 2012.

Investigators found 90 facilities that deducted wages to punish workers, prompting Apple to order the reimbursement of employees. Mandatory pregnancy testing was found at 34 places of work, while 25 tested for medical conditions such as hepatitis B. At four facilities, payroll records were falsified to hide information from auditors, and at one, a supplier was found intentionally dumping waste oil "into the restroom receptacle".

Source Explanation of bonded labour and other infringements of worker's rights. Extracted from Guardian article by Juliette Garside on child labour in factories manufacturing Apple products. January 2013.
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