(Repeats to media clients, no change to text)
* Taiwan assembler promises action to fix any problems
* U.S. tech giant says it is investigating new claims
By Paul Carsten
BEIJING, July 29 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 labour 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 organisation,
"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
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
criticised by labour 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)