Apple China supplier imposes overtime, hires minors (Update)

Jul 29, 2013

Three Chinese factories making Apple products impose excessive overtime and employ minors, a US-based advocacy group said Monday, in the latest allegations of labour violations against the US tech giant's suppliers.

The iPhone and iPad maker has faced pressure to better oversee often-poor manufacturing conditions in China since 13 workers for one of its suppliers committed suicide in 2010.

US-based China Labor Watch said in a report that three plants run by Pegatron Group violated standards set by Apple.

Apple's website says that these include no underage labour, overtime to be voluntary, and a maximum 60-hour workweek.

China Labor Watch said the 70,000 employees at the three Pegatron sites averaged 66, 67 and 69 hours per week, and that "many workers" were under 18, some of them interns from vocational schools.

Overtime was mandatory during busy periods, it said, adding that employees at one site who refused to work extra hours once would lose the chance to do so for the rest of the month.

The report also described crowded dormitory rooms housing up to 12 people, insufficient fire escape routes and fines for behaviour such as "failing to tuck in one's chair after eating" and "absence from unpaid meetings".

It also said managers screened out job applicants who were pregnant or older than 35, and rushed through safety training.

Apple said in a statement it had audited Pegatron facilities 15 times since 2007 and found last month that their workweek averaged 46 hours.

It said it had acted on previous complaints raised by China Labor Watch and would "immediately" investigate claims in the latest report "that are new to us".

"We are proud of the work we do with our suppliers to uncover problems and improve conditions for workers," it said.

"Apple is committed to providing safe and fair working conditions throughout our supply chain."

The company, which relies primarily on about 200 suppliers, came under the spotlight after a spate of incidents among workers for the Taiwan-owned firm Foxconn, one of its major manufacturers.

A strike last October at a Foxconn plant making iPhone5 parts involved up to 4,000 employees, who were forced to work through a national holiday.

After at least 13 employees apparently took their lives in 2010—not all at plants making Apple products—Foxconn pledged to improve working conditions and raise salaries.

China Labor Watch said it sent undercover investigators to the three Pegatron factories and conducted nearly 200 worker interviews between March and July this year.

Pegatron, a Taiwanese company, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Explore further: Labor group says Apple making progress at Foxconn

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Samsung in hot seat over abusing Chinese workers

Sep 05, 2012

(AP)—Fresh off a billion-dollar loss in a patent fight with rival smartphone maker Apple, embattled Samsung Electronics Co. now finds itself accused by a labor rights group of mistreating workers in China and illegally ...

Labor group says Apple making progress at Foxconn

May 16, 2013

(AP)—A labor group Apple Inc. joined to assess working conditions at three manufacturing plants in China, where its products are made, says conditions are improving. But employees are still working more hours than the country's ...

iPhone manufacturer faces labor complaints

Sep 12, 2012

(AP)—The company that manufactures Apple's iPhones has responded to an accusation that vocational students are forced to work in its Chinese factories by saying Wednesday its agreement with their schools allows them to ...

Recommended for you

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

1 hour ago

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

14 hours ago

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

US venture investments highest since 2001 (Update)

Apr 18, 2014

Funding for U.S. startup companies soared 57 percent in the first quarter to a level not seen since 2001, as venture capitalists piled more money into a growing number of deals, according to a report due out Friday.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

A homemade solar lamp for developing countries

(Phys.org) —The solar lamp developed by the start-up LEDsafari is a more effective, safer, and less expensive form of illumination than the traditional oil lamp currently used by more than one billion people ...

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...