(Corrects to expand Apple statement in the third paragraph,
clarify who conducted investigation)
TAIPEI Dec 12 Apple Inc on Thursday
said it sent medical experts to contractor Pegatron Corp's
Shanghai factory last month after a 15-year-old
employee died of pneumonia.
Apple has taken various measures in response to criticism
that its products were made in sweatshop-like conditions, since
employee suicides at supplier Foxconn in 2010. Last
year, it commissioned the Fair Labor Association to investigate
"Last month we sent independent medical experts from the
U.S. and China to conduct an investigation at the factory,"
Apple said in a statement. "While they have found no evidence of
any link to working conditions there, we realize that is of
little comfort to the families who have lost their loved ones.
"Apple has a long-standing commitment to providing a safe
and healthy workplace for every worker in our supply chain, and
we have a team working with Pegatron at their facility to ensure
that conditions meet our high standards."
The assembly line employee, who died in October, used his
21-year-old cousin's identification to apply for the job, so the
factory did not know he was underage, said Pegatron spokesman
The Taiwanese company, which assembles Apple's iPhone and
iPad mini, concluded the death was not related to working
conditions as the employee had only recently joined and because
the assembly line environment should not cause a disease such as
pneumonia, Lin said.
Lin also said three other employee deaths this year, in
March and April, were caused by various medical conditions
unrelated to work at the factory.
"Pegatron has strict measures in place to verify workers'
ages before and after they are hired, and we work with health
and safety experts to provide a safe working environment for
each and every worker," Pegatron said in a statement.
"We have an excellent track record of compliance with laws
aimed at preventing underage labour."
China Labor Watch, a New York-based labour rights group,
said the worker's pre-employment physical examination on Sept. 4
showed he was in good health.
(Reporting by Clare Jim; in TAIPEI and Paul Carsten in BEIJING;
Editing by Christopher Cushing)