Bloomberg reports that several weeks ago Apple found Pegatron had been falsifying paperwork to cover up the violations of Apple’s code of conduct for suppliers. Specifically, the Taiwanese manufacturer had misclassified student workers, which allowed some to work nights and overtime. Employees reportedly then “went to extraordinary lengths” to cover up the violations.
“Pegatron misclassified the student workers in their program and falsified paperwork to disguise violations of our Code, including allowing students to work nights and/or overtime and in some cases to perform work unrelated to their major,” Apple said in a statement to Bloomberg. “The individuals at Pegatron responsible for the violations went to extraordinary lengths to evade our oversight mechanisms.”
Pegatron said the violations took place at its Shanghai and Kunshan campuses in eastern China and that students working night shifts, over-time, and in positions unrelated to their majors were “not in compliance with local rules and regulations.” Pegatron has since fired the manager who oversaw the student worker program.
“Upon discovery of this non-compliant activity, we immediately took the student workers off production lines and worked with our customer and third-party experts to make appropriate arrangements for them to return to their homes or schools with proper compensation alongside all necessary support and care,” Pegatron said in a statement.
Apple has put Pegatron on probation as a result of the violations, and while supplier’s current iPhone business is not expected to be affected, it could lose some iPhone 12 orders to Luxshare next year.
This isn’t the first time Pegatron has been accused of worker abuse. A 2013 report by China Labor Watch found evidence of unpaid overtime and underpayment of student workers at Pegatron’s Shanghai assembly plant. Other companies in Apple’s Chinese-based production chain including Foxconn and Catcher Technology have also flouted local regulations in the past, forcing Apple to tighten standards and audit the companies that manufacture components for its devices.
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