Apple’s new labor complaint involves toxic chemicals

Two NGOs are calling on Apple to cease its use of toxic chemicals to workers in its manufacturing plants.

Apple has consistently been under fire in international media for its labor practices — most of the conflict stemming from the suicides at Foxconn over the last few years, Apple’s main manufacturer based in Taiwan. Foxconn itself has been notorious for its labor abuse, having broken overtime restrictions, and been in the spotlight for extremely rough worker conditions that have been the subject of concern for Taiwanese, Chinese, and U.S. labor authorities. Labor groups in both China and the U.S. have now singled out Apple in their call for international labor reforms. 

The Guardian reports that China Labor Watch and Green America are calling upon Apple — as well as other tech giants including Samsung, Dell, and HP — to overhaul their labor practices to include better chemical safety in manufacturing spaces. While, in the past, many actual employees of Foxconn in its China outlets have taken to the streets to protest the inhumane working conditions, these groups are focusing on specific uses of solvents called n-hexane and benzene in manufacturing plants. 

Contributing Author

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Juliana Kenny

Juliana Kenny is a contributor to, covering a range of topics including patent litigation, conflict mineral laws, executive compensation, and antitrust regulation. Juliana earned B.A.s...

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