Jul 29 2013, 3:58am CDT | by Sumayah Aamir
Pegatron may have been able to grab the deal away from Foxconn, but it has some internal contradictions it needs to sort out. After becoming the #1 supplier of spare parts to Apple, it has been found guilty of worker rights abuses. The New York based firm, China Labor Watch reported that medical diseases among the workers proliferated and they were subject to hazardous conditions. The living conditions in the factories were very poor indeed. Forcing workers to obey orders by holding their salaries and ID cards ransom were other unfair tactics used at Pegatron. These acts of extreme coercion and moral degradation broke the law. They were against both Chinese policies and Apple’s standards.
Apple Incorporated has given its approval to a thorough investigation of these matters. The executives expressed shock and disbelief at some of the allegations and said they were claims that were completely new to them. The facts speak for themselves. With workers slogging through 60 hours a week of hard labor, the policy violations are obvious. Even the gloves supplied to workers, to protect them from the materials used to make the back plates of iPads, were inadequate to protect them from the harmful effects. Furthermore a large number of abuses of human rights were taking place too. Apple meanwhile has ordered Pegatron to put a stop to such heinous practices that are beneath the dignity of human beings. Over 86 separate categories of labor rights transgressions had taken place and had to be addressed.
"Apple is committed to providing safe and fair working conditions throughout our supply chain. We lead the industry with far-reaching and specialized audits, the most transparent reporting and educational programs that enrich the lives of workers who make our products. Apple is the first and only technology company to be admitted to the Fair Labor Association, and we are dedicated to protecting every worker in our supply chain. As a part of our extensive Supplier Responsibility program, Apple has conducted 15 comprehensive audits at Pegatron facilities since 2007, covering more than 130,000 workers making Apple products including annual audits of Pegatron’s final assembly locations and surprise audits at both RiTeng and AVY within the past 18 months."
Regarding CLW reports, the tech giant also said,
"We have been in close contact with China Labor Watch for several months, investigating issues they’ve raised and sharing our findings. When they first told us that workers’ ID cards were being withheld, an auditor from our Supplier Responsibility program was on site the next day to investigate. We confirmed that labor brokers for Pegatron were holding a small number of IDs as they helped set up bank accounts for those employees. We demanded Pegatron put a stop to this practice and a new system was in place within a week. Their latest report contains claims that are new to us and we will investigate them immediately. Our audit teams will return to Pegatron, RiTeng and AVY for special inspections this week. 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."
At the end of statement, Apple said that "We are proud of the work we do with our suppliers to uncover problems and improve conditions for workers. By vigorously enforcing our supplier code of conduct, we ensure that our suppliers follow the same principles and values we hold true."
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