Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is once again in trouble for the alleged violations of one of its Chinese suppliers. Last year it was Foxconn Technology Co., Ltd (TPE:2354) (OTCMKTS:FXFCOF). This time, it’s Pegatron Corporation (TPE:4938) (OTCMKTS:PGTRF).
Apple supplier Pegatron accused of violating labor rights
Bloomberg News reports that China Labor Watch, an advocacy group based in New York, has accused Pegatron of hiring underage workers, not paying high enough rages and forcing employees to work long hours. The group said it found at least 86 violations of labor rights while examining three of Pegatron’s factories. The investigations were conducted between March and July.
The group claims Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been in contact with it for months, although an Apple spokesperson based in Beijing told Bloomberg in a phone interview that some of the claims made in the group’s report today are new to them and will be investigated.
China Labor Watch releases report
China Labor Watch claims that the 86 violations it found include 36 that are simply illegal and 50 which are ethical in nature. The group said it conducted almost 200 interviews with workers outside three of Pegatron’s factories.
They claim the average weekly working hours were between 66 and 69 hours, which is a violation of China’s law allowing no more than 49 hours. They also said Pegatron Corporation (TPE:4938) (OTCMKTS:PGTRF) forced its workers to sign statements which said that the overtime they worked was less than what they actually worked.
Pegatron denies the claims
A spokesperson for Pegatron Corporation (TPE:4938) (OTCMKTS:PGTRF) said it would look into the allegations made by China Labor Watch, although they hadn’t seen the report. The spokesperson said the company’s average weekly work hours are between 45 and 50 hours a week over the last two or three months. He also said that they haven’t hired any workers who are underage.
Apple’s other major Chinese supplier, Foxconn Technology Co., Ltd (TPE:2354) (OTCMKTS:FXFCOF), admitted hiring underage workers in October.
Pegatron building the cheap iPhone
Pegatron has been a major supplier for Apple for some time. Recently there have been indications that the company is working on the rumored low cost iPhone. Pegatron Chief Executive Officer T.H. Tung said just last month that Apple’s low cost iPhone will not be cheap. Instead, Tung said it would be a lower end phone with a price that’s still rather high.