Apple: We'll investigate Pegatron labor abuse allegations

Apple responds to Pegatron labor abuse allegation

China Labor Watch alleges that Pegatron, a Chinese electronics manufacturer whose lengthy client list includes Apple, has been abusing its employees with poor working and living conditions. Predictably, the mainstream and tech media alike has linked these allegations to Apple. Now Apple has responded with a statement, according to the Wall Street Journal.

[China Labor Watch's] latest report contains claims that are new to us and we will investigate them immediately. Our audit teams will return to Pegatron, RiTeng and AVY for special inspections this week. 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.

Apple also noted that it has been in close contact with China Labor Watch and that it conducts regular audits at Pegatron and other supplier facilities. It also underscored its enrollment in the Fair Labor Association - the only technology company that has been admitted.

Pegatron is a supplier to a large number of companies. Products manufactured in its facilities include television sets, set-top boxes, cable modems, game consoles, video cards, and any number of products that Apple has no involvement in, like Google's Nexus tablet. Very few of the mainstream media or tech media reports linking this story have mentioned that Pegatron has any other customers.

Apple is considerably more transparent than most electronics manufacturers are about the standards they impose on their suppliers and their role in making sure their suppliers work up to local code. That and Apple's high profile may explain why China Labor Watch and other organizations have done their best to conflate Pegatron and other Chinese manufacturers like Foxconn with Apple at every opportunity - it makes for better coverage and easier headlines.

Peter Cohen

Managing Editor of iMore, Mac and gaming specialist and all-around technologist. Follow him on Twitter @flargh

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Reader comments

Apple: We'll investigate Pegatron labor abuse allegations

4 Comments

Thank you Peter. It seems these days Apple is the playground kid to pick on. You should have seen all the hate comments on one tech site toward IPhone users. You would think Apple owned Pegatron. This stuff is getting old. It's funny that Android and Google are getting all this love from the tech media. Like everything media oriented let their popularity slip and boom they start getting all the one sided press. Thank goodness we have dedicated sites like iMore and by extension Mobile Nations.

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Great article, and as usual Apple is to blame for everything wrong in working conditions in China. If Apple left the Pegatron, I guess all things would be better, and the working conditions would improve. I you believe in that you have been living under a rock. China does what they want, and the real blame is there.

Pegatron is a Taiwanese company. They used to be part of Asustek, their ODM BU. Their HQs are still located next to each other in Beitou, Taipei. I'm sure the current division is only true on paper, so it would be good to research Asus's involvement in this.

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iPhones are the right of all sentient beings, Pegatron..
No Cook, they are mine to enslave and CONQUER.. MUaHAHAHHA

Sorry couldn't resist