Pegatron denies labor exploitation accusations

Pegatron Corp. (??), an assembler of Apple Inc.'s iPhones, denied accusations made by China Labor Watch (CLW) that it was exploiting workers on its iPhone production lines in China.

In a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange on Monday, the Taiwanese company headquarterd in Taipei said it always abides by the rules limiting work to 60 hours a week.

The denial came after CLW, a New York-based non-profit organization that monitors working conditions in China, said in a report that a majority of employees in Pegatron's Shanghai factory worked more than 80 hours a week, far beyond the 60-hour maximum.

The CWL report was released on Aug. 24 after an investigation that kicked off in 2015 and ran through August 2016.

Pegatron did not agree with the allegations made.

"Pegatron has a computerized management system in place, which is able to ensure our employees (at the Shanghai production base) do not work more than 60 hours a week," the company said in the filing. "We will not allow our employees to work more than six days a week."

In addition to violations of weekly working hour limits, CLW also accused Pegatron of cutting workers' benefits.

According to CLW, the Shanghai Municipal Government raised the minimum monthly wage from US$304 to US$330 in April 2016, and Pegatron workers indeed received a raise in wages.

"However, Pegatron managed to control labor costs by cutting benefits and having workers share insurance payments. As a result, workers' total income decreased after the raise. Pegatron's attitude toward workers is evident here," CLW said in a statement.

In response, Pegatron said the company always compensates its employees above the required minimum, but it did not address the accusation that it had cut workers' benefits, including insurance coverage.

To ensure that every employee has access to information about working hours and wages, Pegatron said, the company has installed computers on production lines and in dormitories and public areas for its workers to check.

Pegatron also said the company encourages its employees to join the Pegatron labor union because the union serves as a communications platform between the company and the workers, and it pledged its continued support for the union.

More importantly, Pegatron said, it will continue to invest more resources to safeguard the health and safety of its workers and ensure they have a good quality of life.

The local media has widely reported that Pegatron has received orders placed by Apple for the next generation 4.7-inch iPhone 7, which is expected to be unveiled in September.

Source: Focus Taiwan