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Tuesday, 30 July 2013 11:49

Apple faces another China crisis

Written by Nick Farrell

Pegatron worse than Foxconn

Fruit themed toymaker Apple is facing fresh allegations of worker rights violations at Chinese factories of one of its suppliers Pegatron. China Labour Watch, has alleged that three factories of Pegatron violate a "great number of international and Chinese laws and standards".

These include using child labour, contract violations and excessive working hours. All things which Apple had distanced itself from. Both Apple and Pegatron said they would investigate the allegations immediately and said that it was committed to providing safe and fair working conditions throughout our supply chain. Pegatron's chief executive, Jason Cheng, said in a statement that the firm took the allegations "very seriously" too.

Apple, one of the world's biggest firms, has had to deal with similar claims in the past. when one of its biggest suppliers, Foxconn, was accused of violating worker rights. Li Qiang, executive director of China Labour Watch, claimed that its investigations have shown that labour conditions at Pegatron factories are even worse than those at Foxconn plants. The average weekly working hours in the three factories investigated by it were approximately 66 hours, 67 hours, and 69 hours, respectively.

In Pegatron Shanghai, the investigation uncovered that workers were forced to sign forms indicating that their overtime hours were less than the actual levels. Conditions at these factories are so poor that most workers refuse to continue working for long. More than 30 of the 110 new recruits at one of the factories had left within a period of two weeks.

Apple has claimed that was not true disputed those claims, saying that it had closely tracked working hours at all of these facilities. It thinks that Pegatron employees making Apple products worked 46 hours per week on average.

Other violations claimed by the campaign group include insufficient wages, poor working conditions, poor living conditions, difficulty in taking leave, abuse by management and environmental pollution.

Nick Farrell

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