Moving Forward: 30 Days of Action

What lies ahead as far as green in America may seem uncertain at the moment. At Green America, we strive to make a difference—we know you do too. In the last several months, our online actions for change have garnered tens of thousands of signatures and are leading change for clean energy, safe food, fair labor, and responsible banking. We’re certain […]

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For just $12.38 per iPhone, Apple could pay its workers a livable wage. 

Today Apple’s shareowners will vote to approve the compensation packages of its top executives at its Annual Shareowner meeting in Cupertino, CA. The company broke records last quarter selling 74.5 million iPhones and earning $18 billion in profits. Executives will be rewarded lavishly: Tim Cook, CEO: $1.7 million salary, $9.2 million total compensation Other senior VPs: $947,596 salary, $28 million […]

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Apple soars. Workers suffer.

The world’s most popular product relies on poverty wages, as low at $0.27 per iPhone. Apple made headlines last week when it announced record-setting profits from its most recent business quarter (Oct-Dec 2014, Apple’s fiscal Q1). $74.6 billion revenue $18 billion in pure profit $142 billion net cash reserves 74.5 million iPhones sold Apple fiscal Q1 numbers, as reported by […]

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Samsung Handed a Rough Report Card for Worker Health and Safety

Recently, Dan Watch and Electronics Watch released Winds of Change, a report which details the harsh working conditions of the electronics manufacturing sector, particularly the problems caused by occupational exposure to dangerous chemicals. The report compiles all known cases of occupational illness among people who have worked at Samsung since 2006/2007. The total number of illnesses is likely much greater […]

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Two Years of Broken Promises

Green America and China Labor Watch (CLW) today released the findings of an undercover investigation we conducted in August 2014 at one of Apple’s 2nd tier supplier factories: Catcher Technology in Suqian. This factory manufactures metal casings for a number of consumer electronics companies including Apple, Inc. While at the factory, the investigator worked on parts for the iPad. This factory’s sister factories, […]

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Health and Safety Findings at Quanta, Mac and iPod Manufacturer

Last August the Fair Labor Association (FLA) conducted audits in two of Apple’s final assembly plants in China. These factories are both owned by Quanta–Tech-Com in Shanghai manufactures Mac computers and employs roughly 32,000 people and Tech-Full in Changshu manufactures iPods and employs nearly 5,000 people. The findings from these audits were released today, one day after Apple’s announcement to ban […]

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VICTORY: Apple to Remove Two Potent Toxins from Supplier Factories

This spring, Green America’s End Smartphone Sweatshops campaign, in partnership with China Labor Watch (CLW), called on Apple to remove toxic chemicals including benzene and n-hexane from its supplier factories in China. Only five months into the campaign, Apple announced in August that it would “explicitly prohibit the use of benzene and n-hexane” at 22 of its final-assembly supplier factories. […]

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The Blame Game

Preventable Factory Fire in China Once Again Not Prevented Co-written by Joey Friedman 75 Chinese workers at the Kunshan Zhongrong Metal Production Co.  perished in a factory explosion on Saturday, August 2nd. Zhongrong makes automotive parts for General Motors Co. and other auto makers. Dense with dust, its believed the unfiltered air combusted upon contact with a heat source. Like many unfortunate factory fires, this could have been prevented by installing a simple ventilation system. In an attempt to avoid responsibility, few head employees were willing to speak or take action after the explosion. Factory Chairman Wu Ji-tao was not found within reach for comment. The factory’s online contact, Zhang Ying refused to answer any questions regarding the blast. According to a report by The New York Times, China’s top work-safety agency pointed to local government to take on responsibility for the tragic event. Government officials are currently refusing to comment. Citic Dicastal Wheel Manufacturing Co., wheel-makers that subcontract orders to Zhongrong is also not available for comment. General Motors deflects its relationship with the factory, making clear that is sources its parts through Citic Dicastal, its tier 1 supplier, and has no direct relationship with Zhongrong, this tier 2 supplier. Of the more than 260 people onsite at the time of the explosion on early Saturday morning, 75 have died and nearly 200 are injured. Combustible dust is a widely known manufacturing hazard. As a metal polishing plant, Zhongrong should […]

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Apple: the Walmart of the High-Tech Industry

Co-authored by Joey Friedman Of late, most of Apple’s labor scandals have stemmed from supplier factories in China. Today’s Wall Street Journal, however, points to a labor problem much closer to home. On Monday July 21, 20,000 hourly workers in California filed suit against Apple for workplace violations. The case, originally filed back in 2011 by four Apple employees, now voices the position of 20,000 employees claiming Apple’s violation of wage and hour laws. Reports have been made that these employees were denied lunch breaks, rest breaks, and final paychecks while working for Apple. Other claims broadly illustrate mistreatment within the workplace. Multiple reports reflect that if certain labor policies were discussed among employees they became at risk for being “fired, sued or disciplined.” The claims made by the thousands of California-based staff members exhibits behaviors of a hostile and threatening work environment. It is possible that such a harsh relationship between staff members and management is what has kept these employees fearfully quiet for any length of time. It’s clear that while Apple offers admiral benefits packages for its corporate employees, its hourly retail workers (and the workers on the other end of its supply chain, assembling its prized iGadgets) are not treated as well. Apple is the second most profitable company in the world and recently announced second quarter profits of $7.75 billion dollars, up 12% since the same time last year. The company touts itself as a […]

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