[JURIST] A New York-based labor rights group alleged Monday that a Taiwanese company that produces iPhones for Apple [corporate website] has violated labor and environmental laws in China. China Labor Watch [advocacy website] accused Apple company, Pegatron [corporate website], which assembles products including the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPhone 5, of withholding employees' pay and imposing excessive working hours at factories in mainland China. In its report, China Labor Watch reported at least 86 labor rights violations while investigating three Pegatron factories from March to July. Most of the workers are working 66 to 69 hours a week, which far exceeds China's statutory limit of 49 hours. The group also reported that Pegatron engaged in discriminatory hiring practices, including refusing to hire applicants older than 35 or members of ethnic minorities. The group also reported that employees were required to dump hazardous water in sewers. In a company statement, Apple said that it was "committed to providing safe and fair working conditions" and would investigate the claims about Pegatron.
Conditions in Chinese factories that produce iPhones and other popular Apple products have been under continued scrutiny. In 2012 China Labor Watch accused another Taiwanese supplier, Foxconn of violating labor and environmental laws [JURIST report] in its factories. Apple became the first technology company to join the Washington-based Fair Labor Association (FLA) [official website] last year after criticism by human-rights organizations about conditions at its suppliers. As a participating company, Apple agrees to uphold [press release] the FLA Workplace Code of Conduct throughout their supply chains and commit to the FLA's Principles of Fair Labor and Responsible Sourcing. In 2011 the FLA worked with Apple to assess the impact of Apple's training programs which help raise awareness of labor rights and standards among workers in its supply chain.