Jabil: Labor Rights Violations in China, Mexico, and Poland

In September 2013, China Labor Watch criticized working conditions at a Chinese Jabil factory in Wuxi that manufactures phone cases for Apple. According to the report, employees at Jabil Green Point Wuxi are coerced into working 12-16 hour shifts with just a single break in order to meet company targets. Employee wages are very low, overtime work is not properly compensated, and the company makes illegal pay deductions for minor errors.[1] Employees average around 100 overtime hours each month, a portion of which consistently goes uncompensated. This “voluntary” portion of overtime work totals $8.3 million per year in unpaid wages. Jabil Wuxi also has an appearance- and age-based discriminatory selection process for potential employees – female applicants must also submit to pregnancy tests. Such practices are against Apple’s code of conduct.

The incidents in this factory are not isolated. China Labor Watch exposed a similar case involving a Jabil factory Shajing in 2012.[2] Jabil was also accused of gender discrimination and coercion in 2010 after workers at a Mexican factory producing for RIM (Blackberry) filed a lawsuit to secure equal wages for equal work. Several employees involved in the case were dismissed shortly thereafter. [3]

Jabil has also caused several controversies in Central Europe. Although it has failed to meet the scale of investment originally promised to Polish authorities, Jabil continues to profit from Poland’s special economic zoning privileges. Trade unions have reported severe working conditions and low wages in Jabil’s Kwidzyń, Poland, factory that supplies companies like Sharp and LG. To cut costs, Jabil uses flexible employment policies that rely heavily on temporary work agencies and short-term contracts. Thus, the factory’s 1,500 short-term contract workers labor under the constant threat of dismissal without warning or severance. Employees have reported increases in stress-related mental health issues stemming from their lack of job security. [4]

[1] China Labor Watch (2013): Chinese workers exploited by U.S.-owned iPhone supplier: An investigation of labor conditions at Jab, 5 September: www.chinalaborwatch.org/pro/proshow-182.html (accessed 01.10.2013).

[2] China Labor Watch: Beyond Foxconn : Deplorable Working Conditions Characterize Apple’s Entire Supply Chain: http://chinalaborwatch.org/pro/proshow-176.html (accessed 01.10.2013).

[3] Plaintiff group of Jabil workers (2010): Workers defending their rights are sacked at Jabil Mexico, 3 December: http://goodelectronics.org/news-en/jabil-sacks-workers-that-demand-their-rights (accessed 01.10.2013).

[4] CentrumCSR (2013): Jabil – niestabilna polityka zatrudniania, 24 June: www.centrumcsr.pl/jabil-niestabilna-polityka-zatrudniania/ (accessed 01.10.2013).

Case location
Wuxi, Jiangsu, China

Affected topics
  • Human and Labour Rights
Affected norms and standards Directly and indirectly (through shareholding) involved companies Indirect investors through shareholding

Comments are closed.