Apple-supplier Pegatron ‘abusing’ China workers |
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Apple-supplier Pegatron ‘abusing’ China workers

Published on Sunday, 28 Jul 2013

BEIJING/SAN FRANCISCO/SINGAPORE: 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 July 29.

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 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, 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 US 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.

Meanwhile, more than 700 mainland officials have been under investigation for breach of duty related to workplace accidents in the first half of the year, the Chinese supreme procuratorate said on July 29.

In the first half of 2013, prosecutors started investigating 467 graft cases related to workplace accidents, according to a statement from the procuratorate.

Prosecutors have finished investigating 457 officials implicated in the cases and filed charges against 443 of them, it said.

The supreme procuratorate asked local prosecuting agencies to step up efforts against cases of graft that could be related to workplace accidents.

The agency itself led investigations into three significant cases and supervised another 17 cases. The three big cases included a coal mine explosion in northeast China’s Jilin province and a workshop explosion in Shandong province.

The agency’s involvement in the cases is part of government efforts to curb corruption and improve workplace safety through judicial means, it said.


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