Apple distribution factory described as “unsafe and unsanitary”, according to human rights group

Injured workers after an explosion at the Pegatron factory.

Apple’s new Chinese manufacturer Pegatron is under fire after the human rights group Labor Watch released a report that reveals “rampant labor violations”.

The report found that the conditions meant that its 70,000 employees had to endure at least 86 labor rights violations, including 36 legal violations and 50 ethical violations.

The NGO also claims that the factories are violating a “great number of international and Chinese laws and standards” as well as the “standards of Apple’s own social responsibility code of conduct”. Li Qiang, the executive director of Labour Watch, says the conditions were “even worse” than those at Foxconn factories, where 18 suicides have been reported in just over two years.

“Apple has not lived up to its own standards. This will lead to Apple’s suppliers abusing labor in order to strengthen their position for receiving orders. In this way, Apple is worsening conditions for workers, not improving them.”

China Labor Watch’s report comes after a 61 Pegatron employees were injured due to an explosion in 2011, hospitalising 23 workers. Despite this, Apple says that regular health and inspection checks are occurring, which include 15 comprehensive audits since 2007.

In a statement, Apple said they are “committed to providing safe and fair working conditions throughout our supply chain"  and promise to reimburse Pegatron workers for any “underpaid or denied compensation for any time they've worked”.

Source: WSJ through China Labour WatchImage: Softpedia

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If only Apple made enough money to pay a set of full-time workers from America to go over there and monitor this stuff 24/7 and report directly back to Apple.

I do sympathise that Apple have become the poster child here for poor treatment of emplyees in China.. almost like McDonalds were with the whole furore around 'Supersize Me' when that came out a few years ago. Pretty much ALL electronics are made in these same giant factories in China, so no company's conscience can be clear. But I guess Apple are big enough, and wealthy enough, that they should be doing something about this.

Not everything is made in the same giant factories in China.
This is for the iPhone 1 and/or 3G I think.

iPhone Primary Contractors - a partial list

Software and design Apple USA
Assembly Foxconn Taiwan
TFT-LCD Screen Sanyo Epson, Sharp, TMD Japan
Video processor chip Samsung Korea
Touch screen overlay Balda Germany
Bluetooth chip Cambridge Silicon Radio UK
Chip manufacture TSMC, UMC Taiwan
Baseband IC Infineon Technology Germany
WIFI Chip Marvell USA
Touch screen control chip Broadcom USA
CMOS chip Micron USA
NOR Flash ICs Intel, SST USA
Display Driver chip National Semi, Novatek US, TW
Case, Mechanical parts Catcher, Foxconn Tech Taiwan
Camera lens Largan Precision Taiwan
Camera module Altus-Tech, Primax, Lite On Taiwan
Battery Charger Delta Electronics Taiwan
Timing Crystal TXC Taiwan
Passive components Cyntec Taiwan
Connector and cables Cheng Uei, Entery Taiwan

These 'human rights' groups keep pursuing Apple factories as it is the only thing that gives their tiny crummy organisations any press attention.

Because that is the only thing that brings them attention. You don't seem them complaining about shoe factories with the exact same terrible conditions even though it is common knowledge that those exist. If they keep this up, people will get desensitized to tech factories being dangerous and just say, "yea so what, just give me my cheap electronics"

People already say "give me my cheap electronics". Most people don't care how things get made. And to be honest it's not the purchasers position to care. The factory and their clients such as Apple, Nike etc should have a duty of care.

At the same time a lot of Asian people are very hard workers and don't cry and moan like soft Europeans & Americans. They believe a job is a privilege and not a right. But at the same time these people should be looked after and not taken advantage of.

A company is not a person so don't try to give it human qualities about caring. The companies we buy from are doing what we tell them but there is only one line of communication that they can respond to and that is money. If you give them money for something they made at one of these factories, they will continue to sell those products. It is the purchasers responsibility to find out where it came from because it is their money fueling what is going on.

ILikeTobacco said,
Because that is the only thing that brings them attention. You don't seem them complaining about shoe factories with the exact same terrible conditions even though it is common knowledge that those exist. If they keep this up, people will get desensitized to tech factories being dangerous and just say, "yea so what, just give me my cheap electronics"

You have missed the 90s and early 00's?
All those advertisements about the poor African children making Nike and Adidas shoes?

ILikeTobacco said,
Nobody missed those. That's my point. We stopped caring and its still happening.

Cause people have short term memories. If it doesn't directly involve them, they will quickly forget and continue their lives.

This isn't the first time Chinese (or south eastern in general) companies got this attention. Won't be the last.
And as long as we want cheaper products, it will continue to happen.

True, but those countries will get increased wealth due to the jobs we provide them, and eventually will go through the same 'revolution'.
Its kinda sad, but the best way, we as the west, to support poor countries, is by exploiting them like such, in a way that we bring them jobs. As if we actively help, its always our fault too

So you have no problem to work with a company that don't give a f**k about the conditions of their worker because it's not your duty.

Except that Apple has a code of ethics in order to be partnered in the first place. If the Chinese company ignores them it's also Apple's duty to do spot checks to ensure that they are keeping with their agreement (which they have done btw).

Master of Earth said,
This has nothing to do with Apple. It's pegatron duty to make sure their employee don't get injure or suicide.

Maybe...but they have the power and an obligation to do something about it. If they sit back and allow this to happen, any company for that matter, they are just as bad.

silly argument, even if MS did, still wouldn't make it right. factories like this should be closed down, irrelevant of what is made there and who for. Apple fans should be just as ****ed off about it has non apple fans. What is more important, the value of someone's life or a microchip...

this isn't about fans, it has become obvious that every time someone else suicide or injure in one of those factory Apple will be in the news of headline and people will starting to put a blame. Apple is not wholly responsible for this but they really can't do much because it's not their freaking factory. They can only ask the company to alleviate the problem. If that's Apple factory then it's a different story. As a matter of fact, Apple is not the only tech company to have partnership with them.

Master of Earth said,
this isn't about fans, it has become obvious that every time someone else suicide or injure in one of those factory Apple will be in the news of headline and people will starting to put a blame. Apple is not wholly responsible for this but they really can't do much because it's not their freaking factory. They can only ask the company to alleviate the problem. If that's Apple factory then it's a different story. As a matter of fact, Apple is not the only tech company to have partnership with them.

Apple could pay them more and ask for the problem to be resolved. But to stay competitive other companies would need to do it too.

I think it should be our government duty to force our companies to respect some level of decency when they are operating outside of our borders. We ask them to respect workers here but we don't care what they do outside as long as the products remain cheap to buy and the profit high.

We are all responsible for this. We complain when it happens. But we would also complain if the price of tech would go up by 25% to give those workers better working conditions. There's an easy solution to this. Keep the jobs in north america and accept to pay 500$ for a piece of tech you curently pay 350$. Are people willing to do that? I'm not so sure.

Master of Earth said,
This has nothing to do with Apple. It's pegatron duty to make sure their employee don't get injure or suicide.

So if Hanes T-Shirts used slaves to pick cotton, would you say that's the plantation owner's fault too?

CSharp. said,

Whether or not that's true...you seriously think Bill Gates is above hypocrisy?

I don't think he's above hypocrisy but he comes across as rather selfless and someone who realises that his place in society means that he has responsibility to ensure that his actions are for the greater good.

My point is that I'd be surprised if MS was involved in something like this. It's easy to say that all companies that produce electronics would be partnered with similar production and distribution companies. I don't think that's fair because it is possible to conduct your business responsibly and look into manufacturers and distributors before you partner with them. Do you think the Ethisphere Institute (institute that rated MS in the top 100 ethical companies) just randomly picks companies for their list? No, they obviously have some reason for it.

Companies/teams often reflect the values their leaders. I don't think it's a surprise the MS rates well Ethisphere's list while Apple/Google do not figure. The leaders of Apple/Google appear more ruthless people.