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10 Nov 2023

China: Rural to urban migrants unable to access equivalent social security despite economic contribution; Apple did not respond

The New York Times reports around 300 million internal migrants who moved from rural areas to Chinese cities have few social protections that make them among the most vulnerable groups to China's economic downturns. Without access to the same health insurance, unemployment and retirement benefits as Chinese born in cities migrants often work long hours for low wages, despite a crucial contribution to China's manufacturing industry and economic rise. In one case, a worker at an Apple contract manufacturer described no prospect of retirement for migrants and a lack of access to benefits when out of work. He worked very long hours and worked without a day off across two weeks “because of the demand of Apple’s newest iPhone”.

We invited Apple to respond to the report and outline its expectations on working conditions, including hours worked, at contract manufacturers in China. We also asked Apple to outline how it ensures increased demand for products does not adversely impact productivity targets to safeguard workers’ health and safety, and rest allowance. Apple did not respond.