Group accuses China-based Apple supplier of labor abuses
A labor-rights group Monday accused a Chinese company that makes iPhones for Apple Inc. of abuses including withholding employees’ pay and excessive working hours.
China Labor Watch said it found violations of the law and of Apple’s pledges about working conditions at factories operated by Pegatron Corp., a Taiwanese company.
Conditions in Chinese factories that produce iPhones and other popular Apple products have been under scrutiny after complaints about labor and environmental violations by a different supplier, Taiwan’s Foxconn, a unit of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co.
Apple said in a statement it was “committed to providing safe and fair working conditions” and would investigate the claims about Pegatron. The Taiwanese company’s chief executive, in a separate statement, also promised to investigate.
China Labor Watch said its investigation covered two factories in Shanghai and one in Suzhou, a nearby city, that employ a total of 70,000 people. It found violations including discrimination against ethnic minorities and women, excessive work hours, poor living conditions, health and safety problems and pollution.
Pegatron assembles products including the iPhone 4, iPhone 4s and iPhone 5 for Apple, according to the report.
Apple said it confirmed one accusation by China Labor Watch — that identity cards of some workers were being held by management — and told Pegatron to stop.
Apple has published a code of conduct for its suppliers and joined the Fair Labor Association, a worker- rights monitoring group. The association inspected Foxconn factories early last year and said in August that improvements it recommended were being carried out ahead of schedule.
Conditions in factories in China are a sensitive issue for foreign companies that outsource production of shoes, consumer electronics and other goods to local contractors.