Apple has responded to accusations that one of its Chinese suppliers is guilty of numerous labor and environmental violations, including demanding 100 hours of mandatory overtime a month and failing to pay some wages to 20,000 employees. "Excessive overtime is not in anyone’s best interest, and we work closely with our suppliers to prevent it," Apple said Thursday in a statement. The facility in question belongs to Catcher Technology in the eastern city of Suqian, which makes the aluminum enclosures for MacBooks and iPads. A report released on Thursday by China Labor Watch and Green America also claimed that the facility locked emergency exits, failed to hand out safety gear and had excessive metal dust, a fire safety hazard, in its aluminum polishing workshop. "Our most recent annual audit, in May, found some concrete areas for improvement in Catcher’s operations, and we worked with Catcher to develop a corrective action plan," Apple said. "We had scheduled a follow-up visit next month to review their progress but have dispatched a team there immediately to investigate this report."
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--- Keith Wagstaff