Last year, Apple's primary Chinese manufacturing partner Foxconn came under intense scrutiny for complaints about how factory workers were being treated. Now another partner, Pegatron, is facing similar charges of poor treatment of workers.
An upcoming report from China Labor Watch outlined in the Wall Street Journal notes a number of claims against Pegatron:
- Pegatron allegedly withholds worker IDs so that Pegatron employees cannot choose to work elsewhere because they lack proper ID.
- Living conditions are supposedly poor, with "30-minute waits to enter their production facility, tight living quarters, and packed cafeterias."
- Workers are allegedly working over 60 hours per week, which is Apple's limit. Apple's June Supplier Responsibility report shows an average 46-hour work week for Pegatron employees.
- At one Pegatron subsidiary, employees are complaining that they're provided gloves that are insufficient for protection from the materials used to make metal iPad backplates.
Apple has already responded to the newly reported issues, according to the WSJ:
Apple, in a statement, said it is "committed to providing safe and fair working conditions throughout our supply chain." It said that it has conducted 15 comprehensive audits at Pegatron facilities since 2007, including surprise audits within the past 18 months.
Apple said it confirmed that some labor brokers were withholding worker ID cards and demanded Pegatron "put a stop" to it. The U.S. company said it will investigate claims in the China Labor Watch report and take corrective action where needed.
Pegatron has taken on an increasing role in the manufacturing of products as Apple attempts to diversify its supply chain.