Chinese Worker Group Reports New Wave of Abuse at Apple Suppliers

Illustration for article titled Chinese Worker Group Reports New Wave of Abuse at Apple Suppliers

A report from New York-based China Labor Watch has raised concerns over a new wave of worker abuse among Apple suppliers.

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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.

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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]

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DISCUSSION

Iwantmystarback
Iwantmystarback

As much as I want to see manufacturing back in the US, it will never happen if human hands are required for the process. Unions started as a great way to protect the rights of the employees and became a better way for employees to make ridiculous demands that the business had little choice but to meet.

UAW workers are a great example of this. At their peak, UAW workers were being paid an average of nearly $40 an hour, plus another $34 an hour to cover their ridiculous benefits package. That means that the average UAW worker was earning 153,920 dollars a year for what really should be a lower to middle class job. Even if you took away their benefits package, their wages are double that of the average middle class American. These are jobs intended for those without a college education, yet they make more than some do that have said education.

If companies like Apple brought their manufacturing to the US, the iPhone would likely cost triple what it does now. As much as its frustrating to see the conditions in China continue to flat out suck for their employees, things are going to stay there if American line workers don't get the reality check they have deserved for many years.