China Foxconn

Update: Apple has issued a statement stating that it sent medical experts to investigate and found no link to the boy’s employment. It has not commented on the fact that the worker was under-age, but it has been revealed that he used his 21-year-old cousin’s ID to get the job.

Last month we sent independent medical experts from the U.S. and China to conduct an investigation of the (Pegatron) factory. While they have found no evidence of any link to working conditions there, we realize that is of little comfort to the families who have lost their loved ones.

Apple has a long-standing commitment to providing a safe and healthy workplace for every worker in our supply chain, and we have a team working with Pegatron at their facility to ensure that conditions meet our high standards.

Original story:

China Labor Watch says Pegatron has failed to properly explain the deaths of five young workers at a factory making the iPhone 5c, including one who was found to be just 15 years old, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

Pegatron, the Taiwanese manufacturer that employed him, said the workplace environment at the Shanghai plant was not the cause of his illness. But a spokeswoman acknowledged that several other young workers at the factory had also died in the past few months [...]

“Considering the sudden deaths of five people and the similar reason of the deaths, we believe there should be some relations between the tragedy and the working conditions in the factory,” said Li Qiang, who runs China Labor Watch … 

Fifteen-year-old Shi Zhaokun was able to get the job by using a fake ID that said he was 20 years old. His family claim that he worked 12 hours a day, six days a week, though admitted this was based on his clocking-in and -out times and might not reflect breaks. He died of pneumonia in October.

Apple’s contract with Pegatron caps working hours at 60 hours a week, and an Apple audit in June found that the average hours of those working on Apple products was 46 hours.

Pegatron was accused in July of withholding worker IDs, providing poor living conditions, exceeding working hour limits and failing to provide adequate protective equipment for workers.

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5 Responses to “Pegatron faces renewed labor scrutiny after death of under-age worker at iPhone 5c factory [Updated]”

  1. First of all my condolences to the family. Secondly I know that other companies use this company to make their products as well. But for Apple to have their stuff made here is damaging to their image and not acceptable from human point of view. They have to step in do something about this. Although they are probably aware of the situation and working on it.

  2. weakguy says:

    You know, how about Apple tries to move the plants from oversea to North America? I know this may be difficult due to the cost, but I think the brand image and human rights are much more important. Chinese labors are getting more expensive as well, and since Chinese government doesn’t care about how their people are treated there, why not have some plants in Canada and the US? I am not an expert on this so it would be great if someone can explain it to me. What exactly is the cost we are talking here and what are the other obstacles to make it a reality besides the cost? I’m really interested in it and would like an answer. I think it’s much better if we can have some plants in NA just to supply devices to NA. Would it be cost-effective?

    • Tallest Skil says:

      >>how about Apple tries to move the plants from oversea to North America?

      Because that’s ludicrous nonsense, probably.

      >>why not have some plants in Canada and the US?

      Oh, they will, once machines exist to do the jobs of every single worker. They’re not having Americans learn their trade secrets.

      >What exactly is the cost we are talking here and what are the other obstacles to make it a reality besides the cost?

      Tens of billions in building factories, billions in designing machinery that can be rapidly updated without rebuilding the entire machine, millions in energy infrastructure, regulations, laws, building codes…

  3. drtyrell969 says:

    It’s crazy how we in the modern world overlook child labor so we can get our overpriced trinkets to feel special. Everything can be made in our own perspective countries for damn near the same price. We should boycott companies that don’t get it. It’ll be good when Apple can say “Made in the USA” again.

  4. Brian Dunning says:

    Correlation is not causation. What other risk factors exist in that town for pneumonia? Like, for example, pneumonia simply going around?