Report: Chinese Apple Supplier Violates Labor Rights in Factories


China Labor Watch (CLW) released a report Monday accusing a major supplier of Apple of labor rights violations.

CLW’s investigations revealed at least 86 labor rights violations, including 36 legal violations and 50 ethical violations. The violations fall into 15 categories: dispatch labor abuse, hiring discrimination, women’s rights violations, underage labor, contract violations, insufficient worker training, excessive working hours, insufficient wages, poor working conditions, poor living conditions, difficulty in taking leave, labor health and safety concerns, ineffective grievance channels, abuse by management, and environmental pollution.

The three Pegatron Group factories under investigation violated international and Chinese laws and Apple’s social responsibility code of conduct.

In May 2013, Apple heralded that its suppliers had achieved 99 percent compliance with Apple’s 60-hour workweek rule, this despite the fact that 60 hours is a direct violation of China’s 49-hour statutory limit.  This “accomplishment” is further discredited by the fact that average weekly working hours in the three factories probed by CLW are approximately 66 hours, 67 hours, and 69 hours, respectively. For instance, in Pegatron Shanghai, our investigation uncovered that workers were forced to sign forms indicating that their overtime hours were less than the actual levels.

According to CLW, Apple has “zero tolerance for lapses in the quality of its products” and immediately corrects product errors. However, the company applies a “lower level of urgency” when responding to labor rights abuses.