by Joe White
July 29, 2013
In a report published earlier today, the New York-based workers' rights group China Labor Watch claims that Apple-supplier Pegatron is violating its employees' rights in its Chinese factories, which are based in Shanghai and Suzhou. Pegatron is a Taiwan-based company, but has plants in China, where it assembles Apple products. In fact, recent analysis has indicated that Pegatron is to be the "primary assembler" of the anticipated low-cost iPhone, which is rumored to reach Apple Store shelves later this year. Now, however, China Labor Watch asserts that Pegatron is forcing its employees to work unpaid overtime, and to live in poor conditions. "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," the report, which reached us from Reuters, explained. In a statement published in response to China Labor Watch's report, Pegatron's chief executive officer Jason Cheng said that the company takes allegations such as this "very seriously," and added that he and his team of executives "strive to make each day at Pegatron better than the last for our employees." Of course, this isn't the first time iDevice makers in the east have faced criticism. Foxconn, Apple's go-to assembler for many years, has in the past suffered countless damning reports similar to China Labor Watch's most recent condemnation of Pegatron. As we explained in an article published last year, concerning one man - Mike Daisey's - visit to Foxconn:
One woman told Daisey she went to the labor board about her issues with Foxconn working conditions. The result? They put her name on the blacklist and they fired her. The blacklist bluntly states, “The following is a list of trouble makers, if any of them are found in your employ dismiss them immediately.” In China, they don’t beat around the bush. Daisey met workers who were 13-years-old. He also met those who were injured, and in fear of losing their jobs because of it. That’s what we do to things that are flawed, Daisey said, throw them away. And that’s exactly what Foxconn is said to do to its employees who get injured: fire them.Pegatron's Chinese factories employ more than 70,000 people, and Apple plans to thoroughly investigate the claims made in China Labor Watch's recent publication. "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." We'll keep you updated with further information as we receive it. In the meantime, see: Givit Gets Gamified And Gains Multiple Video Downloading From The Cloud, Buffer For iOS Updated With Custom Scheduling ... And A Crashing Bug?, and Sine Mora Gets New Control Schemes, Graphics And Improved Performance.