Apple trips over new labor abuses

An activist group cites a slew of violations at 3 Chinese factories belonging to a major supplier.

By Bruce Kennedy Jul 29, 2013 2:37PM

The Apple Inc. logo is displayed on the back of the new MacBook Pro (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)Apple (AAPL) is dealing with new allegations of work abuses by some of its Chinese contractors. On Monday, the New York group China Labor Watch issued a report detailing claims of labor violations at three Chinese factories owned by Pegatron Group, a Taiwanese company and one of Apple's major suppliers.

CLW said it investigated Pegatron factories in Shanghai and Suzhou, facilities that have more than 70,000 employees and produce iPhones, Apple computers and iPad parts. The report listed 15 categories of violations, including excessive work hours, underage labor, poor living conditions, women's rights violations, abusive management, safety concerns and environmental pollution.

"Our investigations have shown that labor conditions at Pegatron factories are even worse than those at Foxconn factories," CLW executive director Li Qiang said in the press release.

Foxconn, another Apple supplier with factories across China, became a black eye for the U.S. tech company several years ago after reports of appalling work conditions at its facilities, along with a series of worker suicides and a deadly accident.

Both Apple and Pegatron say they're investigating the CLW allegations.

"Apple is committed to providing safe and fair working conditions throughout our supply chain," said a company statement quoted by The Associated Press. "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."

On its website, Apple says it's been publishing audits on its supply chain for the past seven years. "We're fixing problems and tackling issues that our entire industry faces," it says, "such as excessive work hours and underage labor. We're going deeper into the supply chain than any other company we know of, and we're reporting at a level of detail that is unparalleled in our industry."

But CLW's Li Qiang says Apple isn't living up to its own standards. "This will lead to Apple's suppliers abusing labor in order to strengthen their position for receiving orders," he said, "In this way, Apple is worsening conditions for workers, not improving them."

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It was the unions in this country, that stopped, excessive work hours, underage labor, poor living conditions, women's rights violations, abusive management, safety concerns and environmental pollution.

Problem is there is a certain political party, along with the corporations, that have succeeded in getting rid of most of the unions we have here.  Our unskilled workers, can no longer make a liveable wage in the US, and be able to compete with the Chinese.


Jul 29, 2013 3:01PM
Big question folks? Does Apple own these sweat shop factories? If so shame on you, & if not then why is Apple being targeted for the escape goat? Seems to me Apple should just dump the China manufactures of it's products, & bring their business & factories back to the good ole USA, where the jobs are really needed you know!!!
Jul 29, 2013 3:23PM
International corporations look for these opportunities as part of their research.  When it gets too hot in the kitchen in China they will move to India, Central America, and Mexico and start over much like they did in Korea.  These preditors hope to one day end up back in the States with the same wage structure and worker rights as the Asian Rim.  I'm sure they are working on who they need to pay off and how much as we speak.  Wish more Americans were wiser about the ways of corruption and the costs incurred by a society and economy that permits these events to occur.  All the lessons from the great depression seem lost at this point.
Jul 29, 2013 3:03PM
Close Apple down. If this is our future, we need to start WW III now and finish with sticks and stones. F'ing sweatshops and warehouses.
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