Baltimore County

Report alleges worker abuse at Apple supplier, new iPhone

A report released Monday accuses a major Apple supplier of labor abuse, saying employees are working too many hours and doing so in unsafe conditions, among other claims.

China Labor Watch, a nonprofit group, alleges that three factories for Pegatron Group are in violation of numerous labor rights. The report says the factories are violating women's rights, have underage labor, poor and unsafe working conditions, insufficient wages and also discriminate in their hiring.

The 62-page report also says Pegatron is working its employees longer than Apple's 60-hour workweek rule and longer than China's 49-hour statutory limit. It says the factories work employees in excess of 66 hours a week.

PHOTOS: 10 tech projects getting a boost from Kickstarter

"Apple continues to source from Pegatron factories despite serious labor rights violations," China Labor Watch said in a statement Monday. "That Apple has made promises on the conduct of its suppliers means that Apple is complicit in the persistence of violations at these factories."

The group says conditions are so poor at the factories, "workers refuse to continue working for long." It said that 30 of 110 new recruits left during a period of two weeks. 

Apple said it will investigate claims made in the report and take any corrective action necessary, such as reimbursing any employees who may have been underpaid.

The Cupertino tech company said it has tracked the work hours at the facilities in question, and in its last survey in June, Apple found that Pegatron employees working on Apple products worked 46 hours per week, on average.

"Apple is committed to providing safe and fair working conditions throughout our supply chain," the company said in a statement.

Besides the labor violation claims, the report also says that the workers may be working on a Apple product: the long-rumored plastic iPhone. For months, reports have said Apple is working on a low-cost plastic version of the iPhone that would be available in numerous color options.

"Today’s work is to paste protective film on the iPhone’s plastic back cover to prevent it from being scratched on assembly lines," a page in the report reads. "This iPhone model with a plastic cover will soon be released on the market by Apple."


Tech chief mysteriously dropped from Apple's executive team

Nokia frustrated with lack of apps, progress on Windows Phone

10 notable tech projects getting a boost from Kickstarter [Video]


Copyright © 2018, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad