Pegatron, one of the major companies that assemble iPhones for Apple has been suspended for breaking labor laws and trying to cover up the violations. The Taiwanese firm employed students as workers and made them work night shifts and overtime, contradicting US labor laws and Apple’s supply chain laws according to a statement Apple released.
Apple discovered the violation in one of the company’s plants in China. Apple also stated that the supplier tried to falsify documents to cover up the violation. Cupertino-based Apple said that it has therefore banned Pegatron from supplying assembled iPhones until the violation is properly resolved. The tech giant stated that it was taking the measure because Pegatron had intentionally violated the rules and had gone to “extraordinary lengths” to cover up the violations from Apple.
Apple revealed that before the suspension is lifted, it would ensure that Pegatron takes adequate steps to correct the situation in all of its plants. This means that Apple and Pegatron will not be signing any new contracts until the issue is addressed in the plants. According to Apple, the students were working night shifts and overtime on issues that have no relation to what they are studying.
Pegatron is one of the few companies that assemble iPhones for Apple. The company announced that Apple had discovered the violations in some of its plants in mainland China. it also stated that the manager that was responsible for the student employment program has since been fired and the problem has been taken care of.
“The Apple monitoring program discovered some student workers were working night shifts and overtime at Pegatron Shanghai and Kunshan campus,” Pegatron stated in response to its suspension. “The students were also working on issues that have no relations with their majors. This is against local laws and regulations in these plants.”
The Taiwanese company also stated that the workers have been duly compensated and taken off production lines and an independent audit company has been employed to avoid a repeat of the violation.
Supply of the newly released iPhones will not be affected by the suspension according to Apple because Pegatron will still be mandated to fulfill all old contracts that it has had with Apple. However, there will be no new contract until the situation is adequately handled.
This is not the first time that a factory connected with Apple is charged in violation of labor laws. Workers’ rights advocates have often condemned work conditions in some of the factories that Apple uses, though Apple has announced that it has policies in place that ensure that workers’ rights are not exploited in these factories.
Pegatron had previously been charged for deplorable conditions in its production lines in 2014 during the production of the iPhone 6. Some of the undercover reporters that had uncovered the violation had been made to work 18 days in a row, while others had to work 16-hour shifts for the company.