A report from New York-based China Labor Watch has raised concerns over a new wave of worker abuse among Apple suppliers. While Cook and co attempt to shift some of their manufacturing load from Foxconn — which has drawn its own share of criticism for worker abuse — it seems it can’t leave behind poor working conditions, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The new report alleges that factories owned by Taiwan’s Pegatron Corp, and two of its subsidiaries, have violated safety and environmental regulations, withheld worker pay or their ID cards required to work elsewhere, and provide substandard living conditions.
Apple has since issued a statement explaining that it is “committed to providing safe and fair working conditions throughout our supply chain.” The company insists that it’s undertaken 15 audits at Pegatron facilities since 2007 — including surprise audits in the last 18 months — but also says it will investigate the new allegations.
Pegatron may have managed to keep itself out of trouble in the past because for Apple it was a small concern compared to Foxconn. Now, with more manufacturing than ever heading its way, it’s coming under scrutiny. If it wants to keep Apple’s business, perhaps it better clean up its act. For the rest of us, the news serves as another (un)welcome reminded about the providence of our electronics. [WSJ]