Apple supplier 'on probation' over student labour

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
9 November 2020

Apple has put supplier Pegatron “on probation” after student employees were asked to work night shifts and overtime at a factory in Taiwan.

Apple said Pegatron would not get any new business after the company violated Apple’s supplier code of conduct, according to Reuters.

Apple said an investigation found Pegatron mis-classified student workers and falsified paperwork to disguise the violations. “The individuals at Pegatron responsible for the violations went to extraordinary lengths to evade our oversight mechanisms,” Apple said.

Apple said in some cases students performed work unrelated to their degree, breaching its code.

There was no evidence of forced or underage labour, while Pegatron had fired the executive with direct oversight of the programme, Apple said.

“Several weeks ago, we discovered Pegatron – one of Apple’s suppliers in China –violated Apple’s supplier code of conduct in its administration of a student work study programme,” the company said.

“Apple has placed Pegatron on probation and Pegatron will not receive any new business from Apple until they complete all of the corrective actions required.”

In 2019 an investigation by China Labor Watch uncovered labour abuses at a Foxconn factory making Apple’s iPhones, including student workers forced to work overtime and complete internships outside their degree.

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