Apple-supplier Pegatron violates China workers' rights: China Labor Watch

BEIJING Mon Jul 29, 2013 3:21am EDT

iPhone 5 models are pictured on display at an Apple Store in Pasadena, California July 22, 2013.REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

iPhone 5 models are pictured on display at an Apple Store in Pasadena, California July 22, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

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BEIJING (Reuters) - Pegatron Corp, a Taiwanese company that makes Apple Inc products, is violating workers' rights at its Chinese factories in Shanghai and Suzhou, New York-based rights group China Labor Watch said in a report on Monday.

Pegatron, which assembles iPads and iPhones at its China factories, is forcing employees to work unpaid overtime in poor working and living conditions, among other violations of Chinese regulations, China Labor Watch said.

"The Pegatron factories are violating a great number of international and Chinese laws and standards as well as the standards of Apple's own social responsibility code of conduct," it said in the report.

Pegatron said in a statement that it would investigate the matter and would take immediate action to correct any violations of Chinese labor laws and its own code of conduct.

"We strive to make each day at Pegatron better than the last for our employees. They are the heart of our business. That's why we take these allegations very seriously," Pegatron's CEO Jason Cheng said in the statement.

Apple, responding to China Labor Watch's latest report, said it had conducted 15 audits at Pegatron facilities since 2007 that covered more than 130,000 workers to ensure safe and fair working conditions throughout its supply chain.

It has been in touch with China Labor Watch for several months and has fixed some issues raised by the organization, Apple said.

"Their latest report contains claims that are new to us and we will investigate them immediately," Apple said. "If our audits find that workers have been underpaid or denied compensation for any time they've worked, we will require that Pegatron reimburse them in full."

New York-based China Labor Watch said it sent undercover investigators into three Pegatron factories and conducted nearly 200 interviews with workers outside the factories from March to July.

Pegatron's factories in China now employ more than 70,000 workers after it stepped up production of Apple's products as part of the U.S. technology giant's plans to diversify its contract manufacturing partners.

Taiwan's Foxconn Technology Group, which has also been criticized by labor groups for poor working conditions, now makes most of Apple's top products through its flagship unit, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd.

(Additional reporting by Poornima Gupta in San Francisco and Lee Chyen Yee in Singapore; Editing by Matt Driskill)

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Comments (2)
Eideard wrote:
So, your stellar journalists didn’t notice the absence of who actually owns Pegatron. A major PC manufacturing company – ASUS.

They get no hollering or whines.

Jul 29, 2013 1:02pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
eMJayy wrote:
@Eideard – You were so anxious to whine in support of Apple that you failed to discover that Pegatron is NOW an independent company – It was spun off from ASUS in January 2010.

The fact of the matter is that Apple’s stance that it wants better conditions for Chinese workers who make their products is completely fake. Exploitation is precisely the reason why they’re using Chinese workers…and it’s why they’re now making use of Pegatron in particular. Before the world found out about working conditions at Foxconn, Apple made extensive use of worker exploitation to ensure that they could still make extremely last minute changes to their products and still have a vast supply of the product ready in time for launch day. Apple would make various decisions at last minute, call Foxconn management at all hours and make demands that were impossible to meet without immediate and continuing worker exploitation. Workers were awoken in the middle of the night and forced into unscheduled lengthy work shifts just because of Apple’s unreasonable demands. When the world found out what was going on (after workers started leaping to their deaths), Foxconn was eventually forced to improve working conditions and improve pay, and they could no longer use these draconian measures. So what did Apple do? They contracted Pegatron, a company known for doing exactly what Foxconn had being doing to its own workforce before they got caught. And now Apple can go back to making insane spur of the moment demands that result in further worker exploitation.

Jul 29, 2013 7:23pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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