Apple and Pegatron Face China Labor Allegations

July 29, 2013 Updated: July 29, 2013

Apple has once again found itself at the wrong side of the news as its persistent human rights thorn-in-the-flesh watcher China Labor Watch accused it and Chinese partner Pegatron of violating labor conditions for employees in its China plants.

Apple responded to media inquiries indicating that it would look into the allegations by China Labor Watch that factories under its Taiwanese manufacturing partner Pegatron used underage workers and force employees to work overtime in its factories in China. In a statement quoted by AP, Apple said that it was “committed to providing safe and fair working conditions.”

The news comes as no respite to Apple, which shifted a major portion of its manufacturing from another Taiwanese partner, Foxconn, to Pegatron to serve its need to produce Mac computers as well as iPhone and iPad mobile devices. Last year, Apple had come under fire for turning a blind eye to similar problems with Foxconn involving overtime and unsafe working conditions.

China Labor Watch, in its press release, reported “86 labor rights violations, including 36 legal violations and 50 ethical violations.” CLW claims that an investigation at Pegatron’s Shanghai factory revealed that workers were coerced to sign forms that they worked far less hours than they had actually worked. An executive director from CLW said that their investigations showed  “that labor conditions at Pegatron factories are even worse than those at Foxconn factories.”

Bloomberg reported that in 2012, Apple became the first technology company to join the Fair Labor Association after criticism then about conditions at manufacturing partners.